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Full text of "Historic homes of the South-West mountains, Virginia;"





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HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

VIRGINIA 



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HISTORIC HOMES 

OF THE 

S O U T H-W EST 

MOUNTAINS 

VIRGINIA 

BY EDWARD C. MEAD 

AUTHOR OF " THE GENEALOGICAL HISTORY OF 
THE LEE FAMILY OF VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND" 



WITH TWENTY-THREE ILLUSTRATIONS 
AND A MAP 



PHILADELPHIA & LONDON 
J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY 

1899 



APPAL. RM. 

F S3^ 

.ABM- 



library 
West Virginia DnlTerslty 



Copyright, 1898 

BY 

J. B. LippiNcoTT Company 






IN MEMORY OF THE PAST 
AND ESTEEM FOR THE PRES- 
ENT OWNERS OF THESE 
HISTORIC HOMES, THIS 
WORK IS INSCRIBED BY 
THE AUTHOR 



PREFACE 

THE celebrated section of the South- West 
Mountains, Virginia, stands as pre-emi- 
nently among her sister sections as does 
the Old Dominion in the galaxy of stars in the 
Union as the birthplace of Presidents, governors, 
and statesmen, as well as the seat of a refined and 
hospitable people. 

The list of those who have lived here is a 
long and honored one. Many names are of such 
national celebrity that it is felt that any account 
of those who bore them and of the homes which 
so reflected their personality will be of more than 
local interest. 

My object has been to do for these historic 
homes what Bishop Meade has already done 
for the churches of Virginia, — to perpetuate the 
characteristics of these famous houses along the 
South-West Mountains, many of which are fast 
disappearing under the advance of modern archi- 
tecture, giving a faithful picture of each as they 
once stood, as well as an anecdotal account and 
brief genealogy of their inhabitants, thus embalm- 
ing the traditions of these noble Virginia families. 



PREFACE 

To the many who have aided in the collection 
of the facts and incidents here recorded the writer 
returns his sincere thanks, trusting that, in handing 
down these family traditions portraying the simple, 
pure life of their forefathers, it may stimulate others 
to emulate their beautiful character, and perpetuate 
those good " old Virginia" customs, when 

" Gallant Mirth was wont to sport awhile. 
And serene old Age looked on with approving smile." 

"Broad Oak," 

Near Keswick, Virginia, 
November, 1898. 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

INTRODUCTION— THE SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS . . ii 

Their Traditions ; their People. 

MONTICELLO— THE HOME OF THOMAS JEFFERSON . 21 
Now owned by Hon. Jefferson M. Levy, of New York. 

PANTOPS— ONE OF JEFFERSON'S FARMS 41 

Now owned by Professor John R. Sampson. 

LEGO— ONE OF JEFFERSON'S FARMS 49 

The Home of the Taylors. 

SHADWELL— THE BIRTHPLACE OF THOMAS JEFFERSON 55 

SHADWELL THE SECOND 63 

EDGEHILL— THE HOME OF THE RANDOLPHS 65 

BELMONT— THE HOME OF THE EVERETTS 75 

EAST BELMONT— THE HOME OF ISAAC LONG, ESQ. , 89 

SUNNY SIDE— THE SUMMER RESIDENCE OF J. B. PACE, 

ES2 99 

FRUITLAND— THE RESIDENCE OF A. P. FOX, ESQ. . . 107 

CISMONT— THE SUMMER HOME OF COLONEL H. W. 

FULLER Ill 

CLOVER FIELDS— THE OLD HOME OF THE MERI- 

WETHERS 129 

Now owned by Frank M. Randolph, Esq. 

CASTALIA— THE ESTATE OF MURRAY BOOCOCK, ESQ. 139 

MUSIC HALL— HOME OF THE LATE CAPTAIN JAMES 

TERRELL 153 

BELVOIR— THE HOME OF THE NELSONS 159 

KINLOCH— THE HOME OF DR. TOM MERIWETHER . . 167 

Now owned by Aylett Everett, Esq. 

7 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

MERRIE MILL— THE COUNTRY-SEAT OF JOHN ARM- 
STRONG CHANLER, ESg i79 

ROUGEMONT— THE HOME OF THE DICKINSONS ... 187 

HOPEDALE— THE HOME OF THE BOYDENS 193 

CASTLE HILL— THE HOME OF THE RIVESES 201 

KESWICK— THE HOME OF THE PAGES 217 

EDGEWORTH— THE HOME OF THE GORDONS .... 231 

COBHAM PARK— THE RESIDENCE OF THE LATE WIL- 
LIAM C. RIVES, JR 241 

THE MACHUNK FARMS— THE CREEK; CAMPBELLS; 

MACHUNK 247 

BROAD OAK— THE HOME OF EDWARD C. MEAD, ESQ,. 255 

KESWICK STATION— CHESAPEAKE AND OHIO RAIL- 
ROAD 263 

EVERETTSVILLE— NOW LA FOURCHE, THE HOME OF 

THE BOWCOCKS 267 

GLENMORE— THE HOME OF THE MAGRUDERS .... 271 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

Castle Hill Frontispiece 

Map of the South-West Mountains 1 1 

monticello 21 

Pantops 41 

Lego 49 

Shadwell 55 

Edgehill 65 

Belmont 75 

Sunny Side 99 

Cismont Ill 

The Old Colonial Kitchen at Cismont 126 

Clover Fields 129 

The First Clover Fields Mansion .... 133 

Castalia . . 139 

Herd of Herefords at Castalia Farm 151 

KiNLocH . 167 

Merrie Mill Mansion 179 

The Old Colonial Merrie Mill i8o 

The Bathing-Pool at Merrie Mill 183 

Hopedale 193 

Castle Hill Mansion 204 

Keswick 217 

Cobham Park 241 

Broad Oak 255 



INTRODUCTION 

THE SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS: THEIR 
TRADITIONS; THEIR PEOPLE 

THERE extends through the centre of Al- 
bemarle County, Virginia, a bold range of 
picturesque hills, the first that may be 
deemed mountains, as approaching from the east ; 
these have their rise in Orange County, and ter- 
minate on the borders of James River, ranging 
in a south-west and north-east course parallel to 
and distant from the Blue Ridge about twenty 
miles. 

This range has been known from an early 
period as the " South- West Mountains," so called 
from the direction in which they point. 

The early history of Albemarle County, dating 
from its formation in 1744, is one of peculiar 
interest. Even before that period its mountains, 
valleys, and rivers had been explored by a venture- 
some people, among whom were such pioneers as 
Peter Jefferson, Robert Walker, William Ran- 
dolph, Nicholas Meriwether, and Robert Lewis, 
who, upon reaching the colony, turned their foot- 
steps from the already thickly settled eastern coun- 
ties and sought the region of the wild " Apalata 
Mountains" of the west, to which the Indians 
pointed them ; when, however, they reached this 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

first range of blue hills, towering in solemn 
grandeur above the surrounding plain, they were 
so struck with their beauty and fertility that here 
they rested, and forever since their descendants 
have held this favored spot of Virginia by right of 
the king's patent. 

Beginning at Monticello, the home of Thomas 
Jefferson, where the waters of the Rivanna, or 
"Riveranna," as then called, break through the 
little chain of mountains on their way to the 
James, and at short distances of a mile or less 
apart, scattered along the spurs and ridges of these 
mountain slopes, or nestled in valleys beside shady 
springs and rivulets, were the first settlements 
made. For some time the South-West Mountains 
formed the western limit of the colony, but when 
its dark-red alluvial soil was found to be particu- 
larly adapted to the culture of the great staple, 
tobacco, and its salubrious climate so refreshing 
to the fever-stricken emigrants, these favored hills 
were eagerly sought, and the county was early set- 
tled by a most intelligent and industrious race 
of people, who were peculiarly different in dialect, 
traits of character, and social intercourse from the 
general class of early settlers in America. 

The following graphic description by Governor 
James Barbour, of Orange County, as taken from 
the Farmers' Register of 1835, gives an accurate 
idea of this celebrated range : 

" This unique region of the South-West Moun- 
tains stretches from the Rappahannock to the James 
River. I have heard, indeed, of claims to a con- 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

tinuance of this peculiar soil as reaching farther 
both to the north and south. I can only say, as 
far as my observation has extended, these claims 
are not sustained. Its length may, therefore, be 
given at one hundred and ten miles, its average 
breadth five miles, containing three hundred and 
twenty thousand acres ; its latitude in 37°-38° 
north. Of this tract of land, one-half at least in 
its virgin state was very fertile, a fourth suffi- 
ciently so to yield a fair return to labor, the other 
fourth sterile and rocky, but covered with fine 
timber, particularly the chestnut, whose duration 
in rails may be fixed at sixty or seventy years. 

" The advantages of this region are many, and 
some of them peculiar. It presents the singular 
fact that the mountain is fertile to the summit, — 
one thousand feet being the highest point (Peter's), 
— and much more so than the country at its base. 
It is more abundantly watered than any I have 
ever seen ; springs of cool living water are to be 
found in every dell ; and on my own estate I have 
a copious and lasting spring near the top of the 
mountain, at an elevation of six hundred feet at 
least. Its vegetation is fourteen to twenty days 
in advance of the level conterminous country, and 
still it is usually exempt from the late frosts, while 
the fi-uit in the level country is destroyed by 
them. 

" Mr. Jefferson told us the frost of May 4, 1774, 
while destroying even the forest-trees at the sum- 
mit and at the foot of the mountain, left a zone 
of considerable breadth midway the mountain, 

13 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

where even the fruit escaped. The elevations on 
its western side present the most beautiful sites for 
building, furnishing, as they do to a great extent, 
a prospect of the Blue Ridge, distant twenty-five 
miles, and the intermediate country between ; above 
all, we may fairly claim that no spot on earth is 
more healthy. Let us, the inhabitants of the 
South -West Mountains, rejoice and be grateful 
that our benefits greatly preponderate over our ills. 
And so far as my testimony goes, resulting from 
actual observation of near one-third of the entire 
circumference of the earth, I feel no hesitation in 
declaring that I deem them the most desirable 
abode I have ever seen." 

In the above account a slight error is made in 
the altitude of Peter's Mountain (named in honor 
of Peter Jefferson, the father of the President), 
which stands nearly at the north-east terminus of i 
the range, and forms its highest point. In the 
recent survey of this region, made by the " United 
States Coast and Geodetic Survey," the altitude of 
this peak is placed at fifteen hundred feet above 
the sea-level, the average height of the various 
knobs along the range being one thousand feet, 
while the hills along its base dwindle down to five 
hundred feet or less. The late Captain George C. 
Dickinson, whose reputation as a civil engineer 
was very high, gives the altitude of Peter's Moun- 
tain as eighteen hundred and fifty feet, and the 
average elevation of the various residences along 
its base as four hundred and forty feet. 

The topography of the range is quite peculiar. 
14 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Its many prominent peaks ascend in height from 
J south-west to north-east, at which point they ter- 
minate suddenly, dwindhng into mere hills. Be- 
tween each of these peaks are low gaps, through 
which roadways were early made to the western 
side, some of which still exist. Each of these 
high points and low gaps received their name from 
those who first settled near them, thus perpetuating 
their family's name by these living monuments. 

The farms, or rather plantations, of the first few 
settlers were large, being immense grants of wild 
land from the crown, the boundaries of which 
frequently extended into the adjacent counties, 
the entire range of the South-West Mountains 
being at one time held by but two or three settlers, 
—Robert Walker, Nicholas Meriwether, and Peter 
Jefferson. Soon, however, these immense tracts 
were divided and even subdivided into strips of 
one thousand acres each, extending from the sum- 
mit of the range to the lowlands at its foot, thus 
forming a series of settlements along its entire 
length from Charlottesville to Gordonsville. 

The dwellings of these first settlers were gener- 
ally rude log cabins, which the generous forests 
made easy to erect. They consisted usually of 
two rooms, with a rough stone chimney between, 
perched beside some bold spring in the dense forest' 
which afforded the hardy frontiersmen comfort and 
security. Another generation, however, required a 
more portentous building, frequently made of rough 
boards, put on with hand-wrought nails. The style 
of many of these, some of which are still standing, 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

partook usually of the Saxon or early Romanesque 
period of England ; their distinguishing features 
being plainly seen in the high-peaked roof, wide 
fireplace, and immense buttress of its lofty chim- 
ney, so commonly seen during the last century. 
Again, in the course of time, these, too, would 
give place to a more modern structure, having two 
stories, a wide hall, and spacious rooms with large 
windows, or even be replaced by some stately brick 
edifice, thus eftectually obliterating the old home- 
stead of one hundred years ago, few of which 
stand to show under what contracted limits our 
forefathers lived. 

But what of the people whose homes were 
nestled along the slopes of these beautiful foot-hills, 
upon which the first tinge of the rising sun lightens 
with its genial rays, spreading over them a halo of 
supreme peace and happiness *? They were a plain, 
honest, straightforward class, struggling under the 
adversities of the age in which they lived, and 
wonderfully overcoming the difficulties which the 
Revolution placed upon them. They were open- 
hearted and generous to a fault, yet tenacious in 
their religious and political opinions ; clannish to 
a degree, intermarrying for many generations, thus 
retaining their lands, their customs, and family 
traditions among themselves. But, alas ! nearly; 
all have passed away ; they sleep in families of I 
several generations in the little burying-lot attached 
to each home, and their once familiar family-seats: 
have passed into the hands of strangers, who are 
fast removing the old landmarks, until, with very 

i6 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

few exceptions, none of these lands of a once 
proud people are now held by their descendants, 
from whom has passed forever a princely heritage 
under the original grant of a hundred years ago. 

In tracing the history of these old homes and 
the peculiar traits of their first owners, we must 
not forget that they lived, as it were, in a primitive 
age and during the first formation of the country, 
even before many of the great inventions of this 
nineteenth century had materialized, or before the 
social revolution under which our country has re- 
cently passed. They lived most roughly in their 
log cabins, and under many difficulties, — lighting 
their fires with their flintlocks, moulding their 
pewter spoons and candles, as they did their bul- 
lets, in moulds brought with them from the old 
country, spinning, weaving, and making their own 
apparel, doing their daily work, or worshipping 
God on Sunday while holding the musket in one 
hand for fear of the treacherous Indian. And yet 
they were cheerful, hopeful, and courageous, with 
a love and pride for their new-found country which 
left no difficulty too great for their daring to main- 
tain their sovereignty over it. This was Virginian- 
ism in the true sense of the word, which gained 
for their descendants this fair land, and the spirit 
in which it must always be maintained. 

Though this peculiar people have retired behind 
the scenes, yet there come forward in their sons 
and daughters many noble representatives of the 
true Scotch-Irish stock, who as statesmen, lawyers, 
and men of science and letters are maintaining 

17 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

the splendid record of this noble old county for 
its eminent men. We are enabled in these pages 
to mention but few of her brilliant sons, and must 
leave her Minors, Dukes, Dabneys, Garths, South- 
alls, Woods, and a host of others who have won 
enviable fame, for another volume. In looking at 
these, we can truly exclaim there is no degeneracy, 
political, forensic, or scientific, for lamentation 
here ; and as warriors they have proved worthy 
knights of the lance. It is war which sows the 
dragon's teeth that spring up in soldiers and he- 
roes on every side, and our recent conflict has 
shown that the sons of the South have lost none 
of the valor of their veteran fathers. 

Nor can we fail to mention the true Christian 
character of these old families of the South- West 
Mountains, who clung to their religion as the 
very lever of Archimedes, which, resting on another 
world, easily bears up all destinies of this ; led as 
they were by that great father of the Episcopal 
Church in Virginia, Bishop Meade, who, in his 
" Old Churches and Families of Virginia," has left 
them a rich heritage ; thus they could not fail to 
become eminent in church as well as in state, re- 
ceiving continually, as they did, the blessings of a 
bountiful Providence. 

In testimony of their firm faith, they have 
erected many beautiful and modest little Gothic 
houses of worship over these gentle slopes, sur- 
rounded by stately oaks, beneath whose umbra- 
geous arms sleep some of those whose lives we 
have but slightly sketched. 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Thus we have endeavored to adequately portray 
this noted range of mountains, where are seated 
the historic homes to be noted, but no language 
or pencil can give a perfect idea of their true 
beauty and impressive aspect, as when first seen 
in all their solemn grandeur. No wonder Mr. 
Jefferson called it the " garden spot of Virginia ;" 
no wonder its first settlers were charmed by such 
a sight, where Nature seemed to have perfected 
herself for the happiness of man ; no wonder it 
has been the theme of poets and philosophers from 
time immemorial. Nor is this celebrity confined 
to its beautiful scenery alone ; here is the home 
of the richest fruits of the soil, especially of that 
superb apple the " Albemarle pippin," which has 
gained the recognition of the Queen of England ; 
here are generous products of the mineral kingdom, 
such as granite and slates of varying colors ; here 
the floral kingdom bestows her choicest hues ; 
surely, few counties can present such a menu to 
entice the lover of nature. Yet, above all, here 
is that noble seat of learning, the University of 
Virginia, made famous by Jefferson himself, from 
which have emanated some of the most brilliant 
minds of the past century, whose records have 
become national ; for as the rich soil along the 
South-West Mountains, upon which they lived, 
made them independent, they also grew to be in- 
tellectual giants, and became not only controllers 
of the soil, but also ruled the nation, rising in 
eminence with the State and Union, until all eyes 
were turned in wonder to this little region of 

19 



HISTORIC HOMES 

Albemarle which had produced so many great 
men. 

Nor can we more faithfully picture those who 
have lived at the foot of these towering hills than 
in the words of Wirt, who said that " the people 
of Albemarle were the society of nature ;" and this 
most truthfully represents them, as, like the beau- 
ties of nature around them, they partook of the 
beautiful in character. 

" Search the land of living men. 
Where wilt thou find their like agen ?" 



I 

I 



MONTICELLO 

THE HOME OF THOMAS JEFFERSON 

NEXT to Mount Vernon, doubtless there is 
no place in the Union that has been more 
written of or more visited than Monticello, 
the beautiful home of President Jefferson ; and 
yet of the many who have visited this historic 
spot, and the much that has been said of it, few 
are aware of the true story connected with the 
building of this celebrated mansion. 

Many legends and marvellous tales are told the 
stranger who treads its portals, few of which are 
based upon fact ; yet there remain many inci- 
dents untold which would add an interesting page 
to its history, which we propose to gather up and 
trace the true story of its erection, from its incep- 
tion to its completion. 

Colonel Peter Jefferson, the father of Thomas 
Jefferson, and William Randolph, both of Gooch- 
land County, Virginia, were very close friends and 
neighbors. In 1 735 both obtained " patents" for 
large grants of land lying contiguous to each 
other, and ever since their descendants have inter- 
married and maintained this juxtaposition. 

Colonel Peter Jefferson had thus obtained by 
grant one thousand acres, lying on each side of 
the Rivanna River, where it intersects the South- 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

West range of mountains ; to this he added by 
purchase nine hundred acres, making a total of 
nineteen hundred acres of land on each side of the 
river, which embraced the little towns of Shad- 
well on the north and Milton on the south. 

In 1770, Mr. Jefferson, who was then a young 
practising lawyer, first began to clear the summit 
of Monticello (Italian for " little mountain") with 
a view of building. It was then merely a wild, 
tangled forest, but he had often looked upon this 
elevated spot with peculiar attraction, and had 
frequently rambled over its steep, craggy sides, or 
clambered to its summit, there to gaze upon the 
grand panoramic view spread out before him with 
feelings of sublime admiration and intense delight ; 
it was such a picture as he wished always before 
him, and thus it was he decided here to build his 
home. 

After the destruction by fire of the paternal roof 
at Shadwell, Mr. Jefferson began in earnest to 
build upon this almost inaccessible spot, and in 
the fall of that year (1770) had erected a small 
one-and-a-half-story brick building, containing one 
good-sized room, which is the same portion of the 
present building forming the southeast " pavilion" 
at the extremity of the south " terrace ;" this 
room was the only part of the house habitable 
when he took his young bride there in 1772. 

Mr. Jefferson's conception and designs for 
building his new home were not so elaborate or 
extensive as were afterwards carried out upon his 
return from Europe. He was very conventional 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

in his style and manner of living, not wishing to 
go beyond the simplicity of his neighbors, even 
in his plan of building, and yet there was at that 
time not another brick building outside the to^vn 
of Charlottesville, and, though of quite moderate 
proportions compared to its ultimate appearance, 
it was then considered the most imposing building 
in the county. 

The belief that Mr. Jefferson imported from 
England most of the brick used for his building 
is quite erroneous ; all these were made upon the 
spot by his slaves, and the site of their manufac- 
ture is still pointed out ; but in after-years, when 
completing the north end and adding many em- 
bellishments to his original design, some of the 
finest brick and ornamental material were procured 
in Philadelphia and sent around by water to Rich- 
mond, and thence to the little town of Milton. 

In the autumn of 1775 still further additions 
were made, and the grounds greatly improved and 
enlarged, Mr. Jefferson planting with his own 
hands many fruit and ornamental trees, the trunks 
of which still remain. 

During the sessions of Congress, while Mr. 
Jefferson would be absent from Monticello for 
months at a time, the work of completion would 
be necessarily slow, and even up to the year 1782 
the house was but partially completed. Still more 
did that part which had already been built suffer 
much from delay during his sojourn in France as 
ambassador. It was not until Mr. Jefferson's re- 
turn in 1794 that real active work was resumed, 

23 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

and he applied himself enthusiastically once more 
to the early completion of his design. 

Mr. Jefferson had not been very favorably im- 
pressed with foreign architecture, though this may 
be attributable to a little democratic pride for his 
own country. He thus writes : 

" The city of London is handsomer than Paris, 
but not so handsome as Philadelphia. Their 
architecture is the most wretched style I ever saw, 
not meaning to except America, where it is bad, 
or even Virginia, where it is worse." 

On March i o, 1 793, he thus writes concerning 
the new addition : 

" I have it much at heart to run up the part of 
the house the latter part of the summer and fall, 
which I had proposed to do in the spring." 

He also makes mention this year, — 

" The trees planted nearest the house at Monti- 
cello are not yet full grown," and he sighs for shade. 

Again he says, — 

" I have my house to build, my fields to farm 
and to watch, for the happiness of those who labor 
for mine," — meaning his daughter Martha and her 
husband, Thomas Mann Randolph. 

His intention now was to build another wing, 
one story and a half high, both to be united and 
crowned with a balustrade, having a dome be- 
tween them, the apartments to be large and con- 
venient, the decorations within and without to be 
simple, yet regular and elegant. 

Mr. Jefferson had already erected a saw-mill, a 
grist-mill, and a nail-factory, where every nail for 

24 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

the building was hand-forged by his colored boys. 
Many of his artisans had been brought with him 
from Europe, and with all the material at hand the 
work now progressed rapidly. 

The story that Mr. Jefferson labored upon the 
building and laid many of the brick with his own 
hand is also erroneous. He was always fond of 
working in his " shop," where in this " mechani- 
cal retreat," which stood at the rear of the house, 
he would put to a practical test his theories, con- 
structing models of farm implements and exer- 
cising his inventive genius ; but he never labored 
in the real sense of the word, except for his own 
gratification and pleasure, or to set an example of 
industry to those around him. 

In the fall of 1795 more brick were burnt for 
the completion of his new design, and in March, 
1796, he thus writes to a friend : 

" I have begun the demolition of my house, 
and hope to get through its re-edification in the 
course of the summer. We shall have the eye of 
a brick-kiln to poke you into or an octagon to air 
you in." 

In November, 1 796, the new walls of the house 
were so far completed that but little more than a 
week was wanted to get them ready for roofing, 
when a sudden cold spell stopped all further work 
for that year ; such was the cold that on the 23d 
of the month the ground was hard frozen and re- 
mained so all winter. In 1797 the new portion 
of the house had been roofed in and was nearly 
completed, but in the following year the house 

25 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

was again dismantled to renew the roof, and only 
the south pavilion, parlor, and study were fit for 
occupation. 

In speaking of his many disasters, he sadly 
writes in 1798, as prophetic of the coming finan- 
cial storm, — 

" The unprofitable condition of Virginia estates 
in general leaves it now next to impossible for the 
holder of one to avoid ruin. If a debt is once 
contracted by a farmer, it is never paid but by a 
sale." 

After having returned from Philadelphia in 1 798 
he continued to push the work on the house, in 
order to have all of his children with him ; but in 
March, 1799, he writes, — 

" Scarcely a stroke has been done to the house 
since I went away ; so it has remained open at the 
north end another winter. It seems as if I should 
never get it habitable." 

Even up to the year 1800 the building was 
in an unfinished state, and yet large numbers of 
guests would be entertained, besides having all his 
children around him. Though being somewhat 
incomplete outwardly, yet the internal work con- 
tinued to progress during his term of the Presi- 
dency, the mansion then being occupied by his 
youngest daughter, Maria, and her husband, Mr. 
Eppes. 

In June, 1801, the building met with another 
misfortune, caused by a severe hail-storm, which 
broke nearly every window-pane in the house, as 

well as the skylights on the roof, flooding the 

26 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Interior and driving the family out of doors. As 
it was extremely difficult to get glass in those days, 
we can readily imagine the pitiable situation in 
which the family was placed. 

In 1802 the Monticello mansion was con- 
sidered completed. The expense had been very 
great for those times, which, Mr. Jefferson states, 
was exactly two thousand and seventy-six dollars 
and twenty-nine cents, while he was away at Wash- 
ington, besides the large sums he had previously 
expended upon it. 

Thus it had taken nearly thirty years to build 
this historic old edifice, a building which could 
now be erected in six months under our present 
rapid mode of construction. 

Let us glance for a moment at this curious 
structure as it then stood, fresh from the hands of 
the illustrious architect, for Mr. Jefferson had de- 
signed each part most minutely himself. 

Entering from the eastern portico with its lofty 
Corinthian pillars and arched door, over which is 
still seen the old English clock which marked the 
hours, the visitor is here met and ushered through 
large, double glass doors into a spacious semi- 
octagonal hall with its wide fireplace at one end, 
as is usually found in old English mansions. Op- 
posite the door is a small gallery, while on one 
side of it stood a fine marble bust of the patriot 
himself, and on the other one of Washington, 
both by the celebrated Italian artist Carracci. 
Along each side of the hall were many Indian 

relics which Mr. Jefferson had himself collected. 

27 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

From this hall opens another glass door leading 
into the drawing-room or salon^ being the largest 
and most handsome room in the house, and situ- 
ated immediately under the dome. This room is 
also octagonal, its floor being laid in parquetry of 
octagonal blocks of different colored wood, which 
were cut and fitted by his own colored workmen, 
giving it a most unique and pleasing effect, and 
which for skill challenges the genius of a more 
intelligent race. The walls of this stately room 
were adorned with portraits of Columbus, Ves- 
pucius, Andrew Doria, Castruccio-Castracani, Ra- 
leigh, Cortez, Bacon, Newton, Locke, Washing- 
ton, Adams, Madison, and Monroe, while on 
either side of the door stood the busts of Alex- 
ander and Napoleon. 

Leading from this room on the west side was 
the dining-room, and beyond this the octagonal 
tea-room. Here were to be seen busts of Frank- 
lin, Voltaire, Lafayette, and Paul Jones. Adjoining 
this were the bedrooms for guests, while on the 
east of the entrance hall was the bedroom of 
Mrs. Martha Randolph, who resided there perma- 
nently after the death of Mrs. Jefferson. 

Mr. Jefferson's bedroom was next to that of 
Mrs. Randolph, beyond which was his library, 
which extended to the west side of the house, and 
from which led into an arched conservatory ; be- 
yond this was Mr. Jefferson's celebrated work- 
shop. 

The upper part of the house was gained by a 

very narrow, tortuous stairway ; the rooms above 

28 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

were quite small, of low pitch, and badly lighted 
or ventilated ; all of them were of many shapes, 
in conformity to the octagonal design of the 
house ; alcoves let into the wall served in the 
place of bedsteads, their small dimensions being 
hardly suited to the comfortable repose of an or- 
dinary-sized person. 

The dome over the parlor was covered with 
thick glass ; this was called the " ladies' drawing- 
room," which at one time was used as a billiard- 
room until the laws of Virginia prohibited the 
game. It was also said to have been used as a 
" ballroom ;" but it is safe to say that Mr. Jeffer- 
son never had a dancing party in his house, though 
extremely fond of music, and even had his daugh- 
ters taught the graceful art. 

The furniture throughout was very handsome, 
most of which was purchased in France, and used 
while living in Philadelphia. The beautiful marble 
and brazier tables, French mirrors, and elegant 
sofas of the court style of Louis XVI. gave a 
charming and effective contrast to the artistic 
finish of the interior ; while the many rich paint- 
ings, statuary, and works of art gave a sense of 
regal splendor which amazed the many plain and 
simple Virginians who thronged the mansion. 

Governor Gilmer, of Georgia, who was a fre- 
quent and familiar visitor, thus describes Monticello 
during Mr. Jefferson's last term of office : 

" Three rooms of the house were left open for 
visitors. I saw statuary, fine paintings, and a col- 
lection of Indian relics. The statuary was very 

29 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

beautiful ; I could not be satisfied with looking 
at it. The Indian remains were singular things. 
Mr. Jefferson's library door was locked, but the 
window-blinds were thrown back, so that I could 
see several books turned open upon the table, the 
inkstand, paper, and pens as they had been used 
when Mr. Jefferson quitted home." 

He also thus describes the appearance of Mr. 
Jefferson in 1825, just previous to his death : 

" He was still erect ; his reddish hair slightly 
gray, his complexion florid, and his countenance 
intellectual. He described his plan for the uni- 
versity at Charlottesville, then under his particular 
direction, the great seat of learning for the Southern 
States. His advanced age and valuable public 
services, eminent abilities, social qualities, and 
controlling influence in organizing and giving 
directions to the Democratic party made him an 
object of special interest. It was, indeed, surprising 
to see one so old, who had been so industriously 
employed in discharging the most difficult public 
duties, so intent upon what he yet had to do." 

But let us turn again to the building. On top 
of the dome Mr. Jefferson had his observatory, 
being a simple platform surrounded by a balustrade. 
Here he would often sit, night and day, surveying 
the heavens or the vast expanse of scenery before 
him with his telescope. 

The famous nail-factory, machine-shops, and 
weaving-rooms were to the south-east of the house, 
beyond which was the terraced garden, in which 
he delighted to exhibit his horticultural products. 

30 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

The farm itself had not been cleared to any great 
extent around the mansion, most of the crops 
being raised on the north side of the river at 
Shadwell and upon the Tufton farm near Milton, 

Thus we find the farm and mansion of Monti- 
cello in 1809, upon the retirement of Mr. Jefferson 
from the Presidency. But it was not to gain 
repose, for he was followed to his beautiful moun- 
tain home by a host of admirers and visitors, and 
but for the records left us, it were scarcely possible 
to believe the extent to which the imposition upon 
his privacy by friends, kindred, and the public 
generally was carried at this time. They would 
come singly and in families, bringing babies, 
nurses, drivers, and horses, spending weeks and 
even months at a time, giving the place an ap- 
pearance of some noted watering rendezvous. 
Here would be gathered students, savants, mu- 
sicians, clergymen, members of Congress, foreign 
travellers, artists, and men of every faith and 
political creed to gratify their curiosity and say 
that they had seen and heard Mr, Jefferson. In 
one instance a family of six from Europe remained 
ten months ; on another occasion a lady broke a 
pane of glass with her parasol in her eagerness to 
get a glimpse of the President. Crowds would 
stand about the house for hours watching for his 
exit, until Mr. Jefferson in desperation would fly 
to his farm. Poplar Forest, in Bedford County, for 
repose, expressing truly his feelings when he said, 
" Political honors are but splendid torments." 

At various times there were also many celebrated 
31 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

visitors to Monticello, who have left their record 
of the place as it then appeared ; among these were 
the Duke de Laincourt, a distinguished French 
traveller, who, in 1 796, remained several days ; the 
Marquis de Chastellux, aide to General Lafayette ; 
Lieutenant Hall, of the English army, in 1816; 
and William Wirt, the historian, the friend and 
frequent visitor of Jefferson, All these have given 
graphic descriptions of this celebrated spot, some 
in language most illusive, for it is hardly possible 
for the eye to reach the Chesapeake Bay, the 
Atlantic Ocean, or even to the James River, nor can 
the lofty hills of Maryland or the Peaks of Otter be 
seen, yet the view is grand, majestic, and inspiring, 
— the same which Mr. Jefferson gazed upon with 
delight, and which has been the theme of poets 
and historians since, and ever more to be the 
admiration of thousands who make their pilgrim- 
age to this shrine of America's freedom. 

Thus stood Monticello at the close of Mr. Jef- 
ferson's life in 1826. It was known at this time 
that he was deeply involved in debt, — one par- 
tially made in entertaining his numerous guests, 
— in consequence of which his entire estate was 
soon afterwards offered for sale by his grandson and 
executor. Colonel Thomas Jefferson Randolph, of 
Edgehill. Mr. Jefferson had truly rendered him- 
self poor when he built Monticello. The Italians 
brought over to do the ornamental work proved 
most expensive, and his friends had literally " ate 
him out of house and home ;" so of his once 
large estate of ten thousand acres very little re- 

32 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

mained besides the mansion and its contents, he 
having previously sold, in 1776, lands to the 
amount of twenty thousand dollars in the hope 
of stemming the incoming tide of insolvency. 

About the year 1828, Commodore Uriah P. 
Levy, of the United States Navy, who had known 
and greatly admired Jefferson, secured the mansion 
with four hundred acres of the Monticello tract. 
In purchasing the place he designed to preserve it 
in the same condition, and carry out the plans of 
the great patriot himself for its adornment ; and still 
further, in honor of his memory, he erected a hand- 
some statue to him in the City Hall at New York. 

Commodore Levy presided most gracefully over 
the halls of Monticello, and fittingly maintained 
its just celebrity for hospitality. As an instance 
of his extreme courtesy, it is stated that on one 
occasion, when a party of gentlemen visited the 
place, among whom was the Rev. Stephen Jack- 
son, the father of the present Bishop Jackson, of 
Alabama, after showing them the house, the com- 
modore opened a bottle of wine which he had 
brought direct from the island of Madeira ; the 
Rev. Mr. Jackson, in drinking to the health of 
his host, said, " May you live long and prosper." 
Whereupon Commodore Levy replied, as he held 
up his glass, " And may your reverence bury me." 

After the death of Commodore Levy the estate 
descended to his nephew, the Hon. Jefferson M. 
Levy, of New York, its present owner. 

During the civil war it was confiscated by the 
Confederate government and fell into rapid decay ; 

3 33 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

at one time being used as a hospital, after which 
it was rented to unscrupulous parties, who allowed 
it to be sadly pillaged. After the war it was not 
difficult for Mr. Levy to regain possession, who 
at once began its restoration, and to-day it stands 
complete, and perhaps far more beautiful than 
even in Jefferson's time. 

Let us picture Monticello as it now stands, after 
a lapse of nearly seventy years, still sitting in all 
its majestic pride and grandeur upon its lofty emi- 
nence, while so many of the great, the good, and 
the gifted who once graced its halls have passed 
away forever. 

Instead of a steep, rough road, filled with rocks 
and gullies, upon which vehicles would once fre- 
quently stall, the visitor can now drive from the 
city of Charlottesville over a smooth and easily 
graded road, which winds gracefully around Car- 
ter's Mountain, bringing the traveller to the 
" Notch," or first summit, almost before he real- 
izes it. Here stands a porter's lodge, with artistic 
double gate, through which vehicles enter upon 
the Monticello domain proper, and begin to as- 
cend the Little Mountain, upon which the man- 
sion sits a mile above. The same smooth road, 
bordered by a stone wall, winds along its rugged 
sides until the cemetery is reached, which stands 
midway to the summit. 

This is the spot chosen by Jefferson, in 1782, 
after the death of his wife, Martha Wayles Jeffer- 
son, where he wished himself and family to be 
laid. It is on a gentle slope of the mountain, to 

34 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

the right of the road, surrounded by lofty oaks 
and pines, with all the solemn beauty and stillness 

i of the primeval forest. Here he first laid his wife, 
and then his youngest daughter, Maria Eppes. 
Mr. Jefferson then had a rough stone wall four 

I feet high placed around it, with a small iron gate 

' for entrance. This was more as a protection from 
roaming cattle than from human depredation. 
These few graves were unmarked by any stone for 
several years, but after the death of Mr. Jefferson, 
in 1826, there was found in a private drawer, 
among other relics of his wife and daughter, a 

■ pen-and-ink sketch of a monument such as he 
wished to be placed over his own grave. It was 
to be eight feet high, of Virginia stone, with a 
suitable base, upon which was to be the following 
inscription : 

" Here was Buried 
Thomas Jefferson, 
Author of the Declaration of American Indepen- 
dence ; of the Statutes of Virginia, for Religious 
Freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia. 
Born April z""*, 1743, O.S. 
Died July 4*, 1826." 

I His wishes were scrupulously carried out by 
'his grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, and 
though the estate was burdened by heavy debts, 
yet the proffer by the Legislature of Virginia and 
other States to defray the expense was refused. 
There being no suitable stone in Virginia for the 
monument, it was ordered from the North, and 
,cut from Vermont granite. 

35 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

The inscription was cut upon a separate tablet 
of marble and let into the granite. This first 
monument was placed directly over the grave of 
Jefferson, which was five or six feet from, and 
directly opposite to, the entrance, the inscription 
facing the gate towards the east. Mrs. Jefferson 
lies on the right side of this monument. Soon 
after the death of his eldest daughter, Martha 
Wayles Randolph, in 1836, and her husband. Gov- 
ernor Thomas Mann Randolph, in 1828, both of 
whom are buried there, a higher and more sub- 
stantial wall of brick was placed entirely around 
the old one, with a larger and stronger gate, to 
prevent the destruction of the monument by relic- 
seekers, which had already begun. 

About the year 1875 the Senators from Vir- 
ginia, led by the Hon. S. S. Cox, of New York, 
who had visited Monticello and seen the dilapi- 
dated condition of the monument, introduced a 
bill for the preservation of Mr. Jefferson's grave. \ 
The bill was passed, with an appropriation of ten 
thousand dollars for that purpose, provided the 
family would cede to the government all their 
right and title to the graveyard. This was refused. 
In the first sale of Monticello to a Dr. Barkley 
(who afterwards sold it to Commodore Levy), the 
graveyard was specially retained by the family. 
The Legislature of Virginia soon afterwards enacted 
a law " that no family graveyard should be included 
in the sale of a place unless by special contract." 
Thus the government not forcing a quit-claim 
from the family, it compromised by allowing only 

36 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

its immediate members to be interred there, though 
retaining control as government property. 

The design and construction of the new monu- 
ment, and its placing in position and enclosure, 
were intrusted to the Secretary of War, who turned 
it over to Colonel Thomas L. Casey, Chief of En- 
gineers of the United States Army, who was also 
assisted by Major Green Peyton Proctor, of the 
University of Virginia. The new monument is of 
Virginia granite, quarried near Richmond, Virginia. 
It is in exact double proportions of the original one, 
having a total height of eighteen feet, including 
base, plinth, and shaft. The same inscription is 
cut in sunken letters in the granite, and stands in 
the same position as the old one, facing the en- 
trance gate. This new monument was begun in 

1882, and completed and placed in position in 

1883, '^'^^'^ appropriate ceremonies. The grave- 
yard is also enclosed by an iron railing seven and 
a half feet high, with a heavy double iron gate, 
which is permanently locked. 

After the erection of the new monument the old 
one was placed for a time outside the enclosure by 
the family, that all who desired might obtain a 
piece, they retaining only the tablet. It was, how- 
ever, soon after presented to Columbia College, of 
Missouri, upon the earnest appeal of its board of 
curators through their president, S. S. Laws, and 
was removed and placed on the college campus, 
July 4, 1883, by Professor A. F. Fleet, where it 
can now be seen, with the original tablet and in- 
scription. We have thus endeavored to give a 

37 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

brief sketch of this handsome tribute by the gov- j 
eminent to the memory of one to whom this great j 
country is so much indebted, and, being now under 
the guardian care of a grateful people, it is hoped 
will never be again desecrated. 

A few hundred yards from the cemetery the 
entrance to the lawn is reached, and a glimpse of 
the grand scenery spread below is seen. Keeping 
to the right, we pass the ruins of the celebrated 
" nail-factory," with its solitary chimney festooned 
with ivy. Farther on, a solitary grave, surrounded 
by a stone wall, marks the resting-place of the 
mother of Commodore Levy, who died here. 
Next we come to the " weaving-room," which is 
now the manager's house. Here we are met by a 
colored porter, who, though looking quite venera- 
ble, does not lay claim to being Mr. Jefferson's 
body-servant, though for a few pennies he will tell 
you some wonderful stories of him, and point out 
with pride the many objects of interest. Approach- 
ing the mansion up the east lawn, the visitor will 
stand for a moment and glance at the clock over 
the door and the weather-vane overhead, which 
had so often been scanned by the great philoso- 
pher. Then reverently entering the double glass 
doors, he will find himself in the famous hall where 
Jefferson was wont to meet and greet his visitors. 

On the right hangs a full-length portrait of Com- 
modore Levy in full naval uniform ; it is a ma- 
jestic and striking picture of this noted officer; 
while opposite is a model of the " Vandalia," the 
flag-ship in which he sailed around the world. 

38 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Many other paintings adorn the room which will 
claim a close and special notice. In the large par- 
lor or salon hangs a full-size portrait of Madam 
Rachel Levy, the mother of Commodore Levy, 
who was styled the " American beauty" while in 
Europe, a term not inappropriately given if we 
may judge by the beautiful features before us. 
The furniture in this room is of the rich antique 
pattern, to represent the period of Mr. Jefferson's 
term as ambassador, while from the ceiling hangs 
a magnificent chandelier of an old English style for 
candles. A similar one hangs in the dining-room, 
both having been imported direct from Europe by 
Mr, Levy, and are said to have once graced the 
palace of the Empress Josephine at Malmaison. 

The glass doors, the polished floors of parquetry, 
the antique furniture, and ancient portraits all lend a 
baronial aspect of the past century in close keeping 
with its appearance during Mr. Jefferson's time. 

The grounds and exterior appointments are well 
preserved. Scattered over the rich green lawn are 
rustic benches, statuary, vases, and urns of fragrant 
plants. Here, beneath stately elms, locust, and 
chestnut-trees, the visitor can sit and feast the eye 
upon the vast landscape on every side. 

Half a dozen English spaniels sport on the 
green lawn, while upon the steep, craggy side of 
the mountain eight or ten deer can occasionally 
be seen, which are parked by a high picket-fence. 
The rear, or south-west, lawn is equally as beauti- 
ful : from this point is to be seen the mystical loom- 
ing of Willis's Mountain in Buckingham County, 

39 



HISTORIC HOMES 

forty miles away, which would be usually pointed 
out by Mr. Jefferson to his visitors ; then to stand 
on the north-west side of the pavilion and view the 
university, with the city of Charlottesville spread 
in the valley below in all its peaceful repose and 
beauty, while far beyond stretches the vast range 
of the Blue Ridge, embracing an extent of vision 
nearly fifty miles in length, which forms a picture 
such as will repay a journey of several thousand 
miles to behold. 

It is to be doubted whether the government of 
the United States or the State of Virginia could 
have done more for the preservation of Monticello 
than Mr. Levy ; being a man of wealth, with an 
inherited love and admiration for the memory of 
Mr. Jefferson, he has spared no expense in preserv- 
ing it in all its pristine beauty, and has expressed his 
intention of making it one of the great attractive 
spots in America and worthy the memory of the 
great apostle of freedom. 

Thus it will ever be the delight of thousands 
from foreign lands, as well as our own sons and 
daughters, who will visit this historic spot which 
will remain forever sacred in the hearts of all true 
Americans. 

In conclusion, we can state that Mr. Levy is in 
no way connected with the Jefferson family ; he 
was named Jefferson Monroe Levy in honor of Vir- 
ginia's two most noble Presidents, and Virginians 
will 2 iS honor his name in gratitude for his 
love ana patriotism shown in the beautiful care 

bestowed upon Monticello. 

40 



i 



C ~ 

« > 

o Z 

?. O 




PANTOPS 

ONE OF JEFFERSON'S FARMS 

THE first record we have of the settlement 
of this noted spot, which stands under the 
shadow of Monticello, immediately oppo- 
site on the north side of the river, we find men- 
tioned in the year 1734, when Jonathan Clarke 
(father of General George Rogers Clarke), Edmund 
Hickman, Joseph Smith, and Thomas Graves ob- 
tained a grant of three thousand two hundred and 
seventy-seven acres of land along the Rivanna 
from " Shadwell branch to Key West." The tract 
upon which Pantops stands fell mainly to Smith's 
share and partly to Hickman's. Twelve years 
afterwards Colonel Peter Jefferson bought a part 
of this tract, and in 1777, Thomas, his son, pur- 
chased the remainder, which had been formerly 
sold to Charles Lynch. 

Pantops was considered one of Mr. Jefferson's 
" pet farms," and it is said that he hesitated for a 
time whether his new home should be here or at 
Monticello, the grand view from this point being 
hardly less enchanting than its more lofty neighbor. 
Pantops — formerly written " Pant-Ops " — was, 
therefore, so named by Mr. Jefferson from two 
Greek words, " Ildj^-'Opda)," meaning " all-seeing," 
significant of the extended view from its summit. 

41 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

In 1797, Mr. Jefferson speaks of "opening and 
resettling the plantation of Pantops," with a view 
of making it a home for his younger daughter 
" Polly" (Maria), who had just married Mr. Eppes. 
But this design was frustrated by the early death 
of this dear daughter, which event, in connection 
with impending debts, caused him soon afterwards 
to part with Pantops, as expressed by a talented 
writer, "literally for the bread he gave and the 
wine he poured out for his guests," it passing in 
settlement of a store account to a merchant in 
Richmond, Virginia. 

This merchant was James Leitch, who married 
Mary Walker Lewis, the granddaughter of Nicho- 
las Lewis of colonial fame. 

In 1803, Mr. Jefferson again speaks of having 
" levelled " Pantops preparatory to building, and 
in 1 804 writes to his daughter Maria of " levelling 
and establishing your hen-house at Pantops." 

But this hen-house was all that Mr. Jefferson 
accomplished towards building before parting with 
the place, and it is said to have been still standing 
about the year 1877. 

The first dwelling-house erected at Pantops was 

by this James Leitch, about the year 1815. It 

was a small frame building of two rooms, with a 

narrow hall through the centre and a long portico 

in front. After the death of Mr. Leitch, his widow 

married her cousin. Captain David Anderson, who 

then added another room at the rear ; yet its narrow 

dimensions could not be styled very commodious, 

though its proportions were considered quite ample 

42 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

at that time. After the death of Colonel Anderson, 
his son, Meriwether Anderson, who had married 
Eliza Meriwether Lewis Leitch, the third daughter 
of James Leitch, came to Pantops in 1831, where 
he resided until his death in 1866. 

This genial old Virginia gentleman is still well 
remembered. He was a skilful farmer, a lover of 
sport and good living, fond of entertaining a host 
of friends, among whom were Colonel Jeff Ran- 
dolph, William C. Rives, Franklin Minor, Gov- 
ernor Gilmer, and many others of the bonhomie 
Virginians around him. Under his management 
Pantops became most productive, and noted for 
its fine crops, fat mutton, and luscious fruits. 

Mrs. Anderson was a lady of great taste and 
refinement. Her vegetable and flower garden was 
the envy of her neighbors, and her house always 
open to the happy gatherings of young people, 
whom she delighted to entertain. Indeed, Pantops 
then stood at the apex in the great fame of this 
region for its hospitality. 

In the year 1877, soon after the death of Captain 
Anderson, Pantops passed into the hands of the 
Rev. Edgar Woods, who had been pastor of the 
Presbyterian church in Charlottesville for eleven 
years. Compelled by failing health to relinquish 
his charge, he removed to Pantops, and there 
opened a small school for boys, chiefly to educate 
his own sons. Such was the success of this small 
beginning that, upon urgent entreaties of his friends 
and neighbors for its continuance, he was compelled 
to greatly enlarge and improve the old mansion of 

43 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

forty years previous, which was even then in sound 
preservation, though unsuited to modern require- 
ments. For seven years the school continued to 
flourish under the benignant and wise teachings of 
Dr. Woods, who, like the great Dr. Arnold, of 
Rugby, drew young hearts to love him by firm 
discipline, and gave to youths an impress of char- 
acter which is still felt by those who were fortunate 
to fall under his instructions. 

Failing health, however, again compelled him to 
give up his increased labors, and in 1884 Pahtops 
was again sold, with three hundred and seventy- 
three acres of the original tract, to his son-in-law, 
Professor John R. Sampson, who had for eight 
years filled with distinction the chair of ancient 
languages at Davidson College, North Carolina. 
Upon taking possession of the school. Professor 
Sampson found it necessary to again greatly en- 
large its facilities to meet the rapidly increased 
patronage, and at once erected a large three-story 
building, with all modern improvements for lecture- 
rooms, study-hall, library, etc., as well as other out- 
side buildings, as dormitories, gymnasium, bathing- 
rooms, etc., until now the classic summit of 
Pantops is crowned with many stately and im- 
posing buildings, which, like a " city set on a hill," 
sends forth its light to all parts of the world, many 
of its graduates being in foreign lands, while others 
are filling high and honored positions in our own. 

Thus from the small beginning of six pupils 
by Dr. Woods, in 1877, was founded the present 
Pantops Academy, an institution which has grown 

44 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

to national popularity, and such an one as filled 
the vision of Jefferson when he planned his Cen- 
tral College at Charlottesville, and which would 
have gladdened the heart of the great advocate for 
the higher education of youth. 

Let us turn genealogically to these two noted 
families of Woods and Sampson, who have planted 
such a noble beacon-light of learning on this 
famous hill. We find the family of Woods to be 
one of the oldest in Virginia, as well as one of the 
first to settle in Albemarle. They emigrated at an 
early period from Scotland, settling first at Ulster, 
in Pennsylvania, and from thence to Virginia. As 
early as 1734 we find that Michael Woods held 
large landed possessions near what was long known 
as Woods's Gap, he being the first to cross the 
Blue Ridge at that point. He and his sons and 
sons-in-law were also the first to establish a Pres- 
byterian church in Albemarle, which was then 
called the " Mountain Plain" Church. His son 
Andrew was one of the first " Gentlemen Justices" 
for Botetourt County, appointed under George 
III. His son Archibald was in the Revolution- 
ary army when not quite sixteen, and was the 
youngest member of the Constitutional Conven- 
tion of Virginia, held in 1788. This Archibald 
Woods afterwards owned sixty thousand acres of 
land in West Virginia, and founded the first bank 
at Wheeling, being its president until his death 
in 1849. ^^^ ^^^ Thomas was cashier of the 
same bank, but died while quite young. This 
Archibald was the father of the Rev. Dr. Woods, 

45 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

the founder of Pantops Academy. It is also an 
interesting fact that Dr. Woods returned to Albe- 
marle County in 1866, just one hundred years 
after his ancestor, Andrew Woods, left the county 
for Botetourt. 

The Sampson family is of no less celebrity. 
We find some of the name as landholders in 
Goochland County as early as 1725, when Francis 
Sampson, who is supposed to have been a French 
Huguenot, took a " patent" which descended from 
father to son for five generations, or nearly a cen- 
tury, and which was at last sold in 1813 by Rich- 
ard Sampson and his brothers and sisters. 

This Richard lived some time in Albemarle, 
owning the estates known as Franklin Place, Wil- 
ton, and River Bend. He married a sister of the 
Rev. Thornton Rogers, of Albemarle, a lineal de- 
scendant of Giles Rogers, who emigrated from 
Worcestershire, England, to King and Queen 
County, Virginia, late in the seventeenth century. 
His son John married Mary Byrd, the sister of 
Colonel William Byrd, who obtained a grant of 
seven thousand three hundred and fifty-one acres 
of land from Sir William Berkley, governor of 
the colony, on March 15, 1675, "beginning at 
the mouth of Shoccoe's Creek," as the deed speci- 
fies, and running several miles up the James River, 
being the present site of Richmond, Virginia. 
This John and Mary Rogers came to Albemarle, 
and were the grandparents of General George 
Rogers Clarke, the famous hero of the Revolu- 
tionary war. From his son Byrd Rogers have 

46 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

descended quite a number of preachers : Rev. 
Thornton Rogers, Rev. Francis S. Sampson, D.D., 
Rev. Thornton S. Wilson, Rev. Thornton R. Samp- 
son, Rev. Oscar B. Wilson, Rev. WiUiam T. 
Walker, Rev. W. M. Nelson, and Right Rev. 
Kinloch Nelson, Bishop of Georgia. 

Richard Sampson after his marriage with Mary- 
Rogers returned to Goochland and purchased 
the estate called Dover, which became under his 
splendid management the most famous plantation 
in Virginia. The Hon. James A. Seddon, Secre- 
tary of War under the Confederate States, who 
was a near neighbor, writing of him after his 
death, says in an article to the Richmond Farmer, 
" His transformation of Dover, which was badly- 
impoverished, from a waste to a garden was like a 
new creation. His plantation was yearly subjected 
to the inspection of thousands of observers, who 
were themselves for the most part cultivators of 
the soil, as the gentry of lower Virginia passed his 
place on their way to the Springs. It was thus 
that Mr. Sampson's name soon became a familiar 
word throughout the length and breadth of the 
land." 

The Rev. Francis Sampson, the son of this 
Richard, was a brilliant student at the University 
of Virginia, taking the A.M. He and his room- 
mate, Dennison Dudley, began the first prayer- 
meeting ever held in the college, the nucleus of 
what is now the Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion. They both went from the University to 
study for the ministry at Hampden-Sidney Col- 

47 



HISTORIC HOMES 

lege, and at the conclusion of his course Dr. 
Sampson was made there Professor of Oriental 
Literature. He married Caroline Dudley, a noted 
beauty, and daughter of Russell Dudley, of Rich- 
mond, Virginia. This latter gentleman, with his 
wife, Mary Baldwin, came early in the century 
from New England, where both belonged to fami- 
lies distinguished since 1639. The Virginia Bald- 
wins of Winchester and Staunton are from the 
same ancestors as Mrs. Dudley. 

This Dr. Francis Sampson and Caroline Dudley 
are the parents of Professor John R. Sampson, of 
Pantops, who married Anne E., the daughter ot 
Dr. Edgar Woods. To this talented and gifted 
lady is due much of the success of Pantops Acad- 
emy. Her gentle and loving influence over its 
more than five hundred pupils who have entered 
its halls since the year 1884 ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ impress 
for much good, as evidenced by the numbers of 
prominent and useful men who have left its walls 
to battle for the " Master" in foreign lands. 

During the year 1894 its pupils were drawn 
from twenty-four States, and Pantopian students 
were found in thirty-two institutions, from the 
University of Edinburgh, Scotland, to that of Cal- 
ifornia, nearly all of whom have graduated with 
high honors. 

Thus we see Pantops not only historic in its 

associations with Jefferson, but eminent as one of 

the grand institutions of learning in the South, 

whose well-merited success will ever be the pride 

and joy of Virginians. 

48 



LEGO 

THE HOME OF THE TAYLORS 

ADJOINING Pantops on the east is Lego, 
/ \ another of Mr. Jefferson's famous farms. 
'*' ^ This was a portion of the nine hundred 
and eighty-eight acres purchased of Smith and 
Mosely in 1794. The original farm of Lego 
contained some five hundred acres, extending 
chiefly along the steep mountain-sides which 
stretch even to the river's bank at this point, but, 
like its neighbor, Pantops, it has long since been 
shorn of much of its area. 

Why Mr. Jefferson gave it the name Lego (I 
read) is still a debatable question ; one story is 
that he made a colored urchin hold up a book at 
this spot, while he sat on his lofty Monticello por- 
tico, a mile distant, and read from it with his spy- 
glass ; but the most plausible one is that it was in 
this shady vale, beneath its lofty oaks and beside 
a cool spring, that he often resorted, and here re- 
clining, with book in hand, would study and 
dream of the great future for his country. Mr. 
Jefferson had already erected several log cabins, 
tobacco-barns, and other buildings upon each of 
his four farms for the use of his overseers and 
laborers, hence there was at an early date a small, 
rude building at the foot of the mountain beside a 
4 49 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

bold stream which meandered among the hills. 
About the year iSoo, Mr. Jefferson sold Lego 
to Thomas Walker Lewis, son of Nicholas Lewis 
and Mary Walker, daughter of Dr. Thomas 
Walker, of Castle Hill ; he built the first framed 
dwelling at Lego. After several years it again 
passed to the late Luther George, of Albemarle, 
who erected the brick portion of the house and 
lived there until it was again sold to Jefferson C. 
Randolph Taylor, of Jefferson County, Virginia. 
Mr. Taylor was the son of Bennett Taylor, a 
prominent lawyer of Richmond, Virginia, who in 
middle life moved to Jefferson County and there 
died. His grandfather was Captain John Taylor, 
of Southampton County, who was in active ser- 
vice during the Revolutionary war, having equipped 
and maintained a company of his own. The 
grandfather of this Captain Taylor was William 
Taylor, a Scotchman, who is believed to have 
been the first of the name in Virginia. 

Mr. Jefferson Randolph Taylor, of Lego, was a 
graduate in law at the University of Virginia, and 
held the position of presiding justice in Jefferson 
County for many years until his removal to Albe- 
marle. Such was his great integrity of character 
and sense of justice while holding that position that 
it brought forth most eulogistic testimony from 
Bishop Wilmer, of Alabama, and Bishop Whittle, 
of Virginia, both of whom had been his rector. 

Upon taking possession of Lego in 1858, Mr. 
Taylor added to the original mansion, making it 
quite large and commodious. He was quite a 

50 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

successful farmer, this portion of the Jefferson 
tract having been very fertile, and under his skill 
and keen judgment it became most flourishing. 
Mr. Taylor was prominently connected with many 
important events in the county, and though of a 
retired nature, yet his opinions were always sought 
and valued in every movement for the welfare of 
the people. 

In 1838 he married Patsey Jefferson Randolph, 
second daughter of Colonel Thomas Jefferson 
Randolph, of Edgehill, grandson of Thomas Jef- 
ferson. He died at Lego, January 6, 1 878, hon- 
ored and esteemed by a host of friends for his high 
standing in all relations of life. 

Their children were : 

1. Bennett Taylor, who married, in 1865, Lucy Colston; 

they have six children. He was colonel in the 
Confederate army, and won distinction as being one 
of the few to reach the enemy's works during the 
fearful charge at Gettysburg ; he was there taken 
prisoner and held at Johnson's Island for twenty 
months. He is now a prominent lawyer of Red- 
ford, West Virginia. 

2. Jane Randolph Taylor. 

3. Susan Beverly Taylor; married John Blackburn. 

4. Jefferson Randolph Taylor ; graduated at the Univer- 

sity of Virginia in the law ; is now a minister of 
the Episcopal Church at Bryan, Texas, 

5. Margaret Randolph Taylor; married William Ran- 

dolph, son of William Lewis Randolph ; he died 
in 1894; she died in 1897. 

6. Charlotte Taylor ; died an infant. 

7. Cornelia Jefferson Taylor; lives at Lego; she is quite 

talented, and many literary productions have ema- 
nated from her gifted pen. 
51 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

8. Stevens Mason Taylor. 

9. Edmund Randolph Taylor. 

10. Sydney W. Taylor; died in infancy. 

11. J. C. R. Taylor; died an infant. 

1 2. Moncure Robinson Taylor ; lives and farms at Lego. 

In the year 1894 the old brick building at the 
foot of the hill, which had sheltered the family 
so many years, was consumed by fire, but in six 
months afterwards there arose a large and imposing 
structure, in the Queen Anne style, upon the crest 
of the hill (an illustration of which is given). This 
now forms a fashionable and attractive resort for 
summer boarders who wish to visit this famous 
locality. 

Lego has always possessed a halo of romance, 
— its near proximity to Monticello, its lofty hills 
and shady dells, — it being one of the special resorts 
of Jefferson in fleeing from the public view, — all 
of which add to it a peculiar charm. Still more 
does the grand view expanding from every point 
of the compass present to the gaze a panoramic 
picture, embracing the four farms of Jefferson, the 
South- West Mountain range, the river at its foot, 
the city of Charlottesville and university beyond, 
with the Blue Ridge as a background, while on 
the west rises beautiful Mont-Alto (" high mount") 
of the South- West range, so named by Mr. Jef- 
ferson for its rough, steep sides. This was also 
one of his farms, containing five hundred and 
seventy-seven acres, extending even to the cele- 
brated Pen Park farm on the west side of the 
mountain, where Benjamin Franklin is said to have 

52 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

visited and made several of his electrical experi- 
ments. Mont-Alto was rarely cultivated by Mr. 
Jefferson himself, being usually rented out, and 
was eventually sold to his last tenant, Mr. T. H. 
Craven. 

The new building of Lego is capacious, having 
twenty rooms, with open corridors on every side, 
where the mountain breezes are continually felt. 
Its halls are filled with many choice portraits and 
works of art which have descended as heirlooms 
in the Jefferson and Randolph families ; of these 
is to be particularly noticed a portrait of Colonel 
Jefferson Randolph when at the age of sixteen, 
while studying medicine in Philadelphia. This 
was painted by the great patriot artist Charles 
Willson Peale in 1776, who in his admiration for 
Jefferson presented him with this picture of his 
grandson, which for many years graced the halls 
of Monticello. A fine portrait of Sir John Ran- 
dolph, from a miniature by Bruce, is also here to 
be seen. It represents Sir John at the time of his 
visit to England in the interest of William and 
Mary College, when he was knighted by George 
II. for his eminent services in the colony. And 
one of Edmund Randolph, the first Attorney- 
General of the United States and also governor 
of Virginia, 1786-88, must not be overlooked. 
He was the grandson of Sir John Randolph, and 
his portrait is among the first of Virginia's govern- 
ors which hang in the State Library at Richmond. 
The family retain also many relics and documents 
of Jefferson which are well worthy of notice. 

53 



HISTORIC HOMES 

In gazing over the vast domain as viewed from 
its portals, which once belonged to Mr. Jefferson, 
it is sad to contemplate that Lego is the only spot 
now owned by any of his descendants which was 
a part of the original Monticello tract, and even 
this was only gained by purchase ; yet it is linked 
with the two great names of Jefferson and Ran- 
dolph, and must ever continue to be of interest to 
every true patriot of our land. 



54 




SHAD WELL 

The site of the Birthplace of Thomas Jefferson 



SHAD WELL 

THE BIRTHPLACE OF THOMAS JEFFERSON 

TWO tall, scraggy sycamore-trees and a few 
aged locusts are all that now mark the 
site of the once famous Shadwell man- 
sion, where Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743, 
O. S. 

These are said to be the remains of an avenue 
of trees which were planted by Jefferson himself 
on his twenty-first birthday, and are the only 
silent witnesses of his youthful pranks around the 
old homestead. 

Colonel Peter Jefferson is recorded as having 
been the third or fourth settler in the neighbor- 
hood, and when he began to clear the woods to 
erect his dwelling he found the trails of the Mo- 
nacan Indians stretching over the hills. 

The story is told that two or three days before 
Colonel Peter Jefferson took out his " patent" for 
one thousand acres of land on the Rivanna River 
William Randolph, his friend and neighbor, had 
already taken out one for two thousand four hun- 
dred acres adjoining ; Jefferson, not finding a suit- 
able location for a house on his own land, pro- 
posed to his neighbor to sell him four hundred 
acres ; this was agreed to ; but such was the friend- 
ship between them, and such the abundance of 

55 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

land, that the price paid was to be, as the deed still 
in the family testifies, " Henry Weatherbourn's big- 
gest bowl of Arrack punch." 

In 1 737, upon these four hundred acres, situated 
about three hundred yards from the river, on the 
northern slope of the hill was built the first Shad- 
well house, so named after the parish in England 
where his wife, Jane Rogers (or Rodgers) was 
born, though others state that it was for Shadwell 
Street in London, where his wife's mother, Jane 
Rogers Randolph, lived. This celebrated old build- 
ing is described as having been a plain, weather- 
boarded house one and a half stories high, having 
four spacious rooms and hall on the ground-floor, 
with garret, chambers, and dormer-windows above. 
At each gable end were huge outside chimneys, 
which loomed up like gothic buttresses, and mas- 
sive enough to support the walls of a cathedral, 
instead of a low wooden cottage. The house sat 
very near the highway, which then ran along the 
north bank of the river, and in those days of gen- 
eral hospitality it was the stopping-place of nearly 
every traveller, who would always be heartily wel- 
comed. Here the great Indian chiefs, who were 
very fond of Peter Jefferson, would tarry on their 
journey to Williamsburg, and it was thus that 
young Jefferson became acquainted with Ontas- 
site, the great Cherokee warrior and orator, and 
was present in his camp when he made his fare- 
well address to his people before leaving for Eng- 
land. Here Colonel Peter Jefferson lived with his 
family a happy rural life, gathering in the abun- 

56 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

dant crops from the rich virgin soil of the sur- 
rounding hills, grinding his own corn and wheat, 
and sawing his own lumber and that of his neigh- 
bors at his mill on the river, having little or no 
expense or care, and little thinking of the great 
part his young boy Thomas would one day take 
in the affairs of the nation. 

In 1756, Colonel Peter Jefferson died, leaving 
his estate in charge of his friend and neighbor 
John Harvie, of Belmont, for the benefit of his 
only son Thomas, then a youth going to school to 
" Parson" Douglas, in Louisa County, at sixteen 
pounds per year, who taught him the rudiments of 
Latin and Greek, and also the French. He after- 
wards went to " Parson" Maury, near where Lind- 
sey's old store stood, to whom he paid twenty 
pounds per session, and of whom he speaks as 
being "a classical scholar." After graduating in 
the law, young Jefferson, then having attained his 
majority, assumed control of the estate, and car- 
ried on the farm as in his father's time, at the same 
time he entered upon the practice of his profession 
in the courts of Albemarle and surrounding coun- 
ties. It was while absent attending some distant 
court that the old homestead was destroyed by fire 
in 1 770, after which it was never rebuilt. The loss 
to young Jefferson by this occurrence was very 
great, consuming a valuable library and many 
papers and records of his father's long and active 
life in the county, which would have thrown 
much light upon its early settlement and history. 
The story is told that when a servant was sent to 

57 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

tell him of his loss, he asked at once if any of his 
books and papers had been saved. The old darky 
replied, with some satisfaction, " No, massa ; noth- 
ing but At fiddle V Mr. Jefferson was devoted to 
music, and the old negro thought that the violin 
was esteemed the most valuable article of all. 

Mr. Jefterson now turned to the little mountain, 
in full view on the other side of the river, though 
distant four miles off, as a site for his new home. 
The spot is still shown on the river bank where 
he kept his canoe, and would daily paddle himself 
across, clambering up the steep hill-sides to where 
he was levelling the apex of the mountain pre- 
paratory for building. But there was much yet at 
Shadwell to claim his attention, and had he been 
content to rebuild upon the old site, it would have 
resulted better for his fortunes. Here at the foot of 
the hill stood his grist- and flour-mill, the stone 
walls of which are still to be seen, while its site 
forms a rich garden spot which can be viewed 
daily by passengers on the Chesapeake and Ohio 
Railway. Here, too, were situated many of his 
tobacco-barns, stables, and out-buildings for his 
numerous slaves, forming quite a settlement of 
themselves. And here, too, were timber and ma- 
terial in abundance for building at comparatively 
little expense ; but the far-off grand eminence of 
the little mountain had a peculiarly attractive in- 
fluence upon his ambitious spirit, which seemed 
prophetic of that great eminence he would attain 
in the hearts of his countrymen. 

It was in after-years that, notwithstanding Mr. 
58 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Jefferson's removal to his new home, Shadwell 
rose to importance as a manufacturing town, rival- 
hng even its neighbor Milton on the south side. 
In 1835 it contained a large carding-factory em- 
ploying nearly a hundred operatives, a large mer- 
chant mill under the management of Messrs. John 
Timberlake & Son, a saw-mill, and several stores, 
shops, and dwellings, all stretched along the north 
bank of the river. The river was then navigable 
to this point, and here were shipped the grain, to- 
bacco, and products of the surrounding country, 
as well as large quantities of flour and cotton- 
yarns, which would be floated down the river in 
long bateaux. These were busy, halcyon days 
for Shadwell. The musical toot of the boatman's 
horn or his merry song of 

" Inspiring bold John Barleycorn, 
What dangers thou canst make me scorn ! 
Wi' tippenny we fear no evil, 
Wi' esquibac we face the devil !" 

would often resound along the steep Rivanna cliffs. 
Even so late as 1850 it continued to be quite a 
commercial place ; but in that year the carding-fac- 
tory was destroyed by fire, and though frequent 
efforts were made for its rebuilding, this was never 
done, its ruined walls standing for many years as 
a monument of its departed glory, and after the 
advent of the railroad Shadwell rapidly declined. 
Here, along the banks of the river, was the great 
highway for stage travel in those days, which 
crossed the river at Secretary's Ford, near the 

59 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

present railroad iron bridge, or farther up at Pi- 
rea, upon the bridge there built by " Billy" Meri- 
wether at a cost of four thousand dollars, which 
always bore his name. At times " Billy" would 
get into contention with the stage lines as to toll- 
rates, whereupon he would rip up the planks of his 
bridge until the stages would come to terms or 
risk the fording at high water. 

The river at Shadwell would often get on a 
rampage, flooding the mills, stopping travel, and 
doing much damage. Mr. Jefferson always re- 
corded these events, which to him meant a serious 
loss ; still, he always averred that the water-power 
at Shadwell was the best, and his design was to 
extensively utilize it, making here a great manu- 
facturing town. 

In 1879 the site of the old Shadwell mansion 
with two hundred and thirty acres of land, being 
a portion of what was called the " Punch-Bowl 
tract," was sold to Mr, Downing Smith, of Greene 
County. In 1880, Mr. Smith erected a small 
two-story frame dwelling not far from the site 
where the old Jefferson house stood, the two old 
sycamore-trees being immediately in front of it, 
one on each side of the road leading to the house. 

Mr. Smith married Willianna Minor Marshall, 

the daughter of that sterling old Virginia farmer. 

Captain James T. Marshall, of Oakland, near 

Milton. Mr. Smith's grandfather was Downing 

Smith, of Madison County, and his father, also 

named Downing, of Greene County, both of whom 

were prominent and successful farmers. Mr. Smith 

60 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

has inherited much of their talent and energy, as is 
evidenced by the fine crops annually produced on 
the old Shadwell place. This farm was considered 
by Mr. JeiFerson the best of the four which he 
owned and cultivated on both sides of the river, 
and Mr. Smith has proved the fact that the rich 
fields immediately surrounding the old mansion 
were those from which Mr. Jefferson made most 
of his wheat and tobacco. 

Mr. Smith now owns ten hundred and thirty- 
five acres of the original Shadwell and Edgehill 
tracts ; of the latter he has five hundred acres 
called Underbill, which lies between two spurs of 
the mountain, not far from the Edgehill mansion. 
The house is almost hid by its dense foliage and 
secluded position, having an extensive lawn which 
forms quite a sylvan retreat. This place was once 
called Slab City by Colonel Jeff Randolph, doubt- 
less from the fact that here were made most of 
the pine slabs used for building purposes in old 
times, which were manufactured from the heavy 
mountain timber. 

At what period the house was built or by whom 
is not known. This tract has been cultivated by 
many of the Randolph family, the last of whom 
to own it was Miss Sarah N. Randolph, the talented 
authoress. 

Mr. Smith has since been offered a handsome 
sum for Shadwell, but which has been declined, 
he wishing to erect a handsome building in the 
near future, beautifying and adorning the old site, 
and preserve carefully the venerable trees, which 

6i 



HISTORIC HOMES 

are now objects of great interest. It is to be 
hoped, however, that a suitable monument will be 
erected here by the State, marking the birthplace 
of her great son, that in connection with his home 
at Monticello it may be preserved imperishably as 
one of the historic spots within her borders dedi- 
cated to his memory. 



62 



SHADWELL THE SECOND 

SITUATED on an elevated hill near the base 
of the South- West Mountains and nearly 
opposite the old Shadwell site, which is two 
miles distant, stands a commodious brick build- 
ing, much in style of the Edgehill mansion. This 
was erected nearly fifty years ago by Colonel 
Frank G. Ruffin, who married, in 1840, Gary 
Anne Nicholas Randolph, third daughter of Col- 
onel Thomas Jefferson Randolph, of Edgehill. 
This he named Shadwell, after the old Jefferson 
birthplace, though the station and post-office on 
the river still retained the name, which has since 
been removed to the Edgehill Station, 

Here Colonel Ruffin lived and raised a large 
family. He proved himself to be one of the most 
astute farmers and able writers upon agricultural 
matters of the day, following closely in the foot- 
steps of his illustrious father, Edmund Ruffin, who 
so long and ably edited the Farmers' Register, which 
gave to agriculture in Virginia an impulse which it 
has never ceased to feel. After the death of Col- 
onel Ruffin this part of the Shadwell tract, which 
originally contained nine hundred acres, was sold 
to Major Thomas J. Randolph, Jr., the eldest son 
of Colonel Jefferson Randolph, of Edgehill, who 
took possession in 1 830, and lived here till his death 
in 1870, which was caused by an accidental pre- 

63 



HISTORIC HOMES 

mature blast on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway 
in West Virginia, where he had a contract. Major 
Randolph married twice : first, Mary Walker Meri- 
wether, the daughter of Dr. Frank T. Meriwether ; 
and second, Charlotte N. Meriwether, daughter of 
Dr. Thomas Meriwether, of Kinloch, by both of 
whom he had several children, some of whom are 
still living on the old Meriwether estate. 

After the death of Major Randolph this part of 
the Shadwell tract passed into several hands, until 
eventually sold to Mr. V. A. Bunch, of Hunting- 
ton, West Virginia, who is its present owner. 

There are now but one hundred and twelve 
acres attached to the house, the remainder of this 
once large tract having been cut up into small 
farms and sold to strangers, who have erected 
buildings upon many of its prominent points. 

This second Shadwell building is not so ancient 
in appearance, nor possessed with mysterious le- 
gends of old ; yet the fact of its being the last 
part of the Jefferson tract to be sold, and with it 
the passing from the family all of the once famous 
" Punch-Bowl tract," will ever render it of peculiar 
interest. 



64 



EDGEHILL 

THE HOME OF THE RANDOLPHS 

EDGEHILL stands next to Monticello in his- 
toric celebrity, and its early history and 
settlement are coexistent with that of its 
neighbor Shadwell. It is one of the few places 
that was first settled when the county of Albe- 
marle formed a part of Goochland, and the South- 
West Mountains marked almost the extreme west- 
ern limit of habitation. 

As has already been mentioned, William Ran- 
dolph, of Tuckahoe, Goochland County, in 1735 
patented from the crown of England two thou- 
sand four hundred acres along the South- West 
Mountains, adjoining the lands of Peter Jefferson 
on one side and John Harvie on the other. 

But William Randolph, of Tuckahoe, never 
built nor settled upon this large estate himself; it 
was his son. Colonel Thomas Mann Randolph, 
who was the first of the family to settle there in 
1767. At this time the Randolphs were very 
large land-owners, their estates extending from tide- 
water to the mountains, and their name was re- 
corded in the earliest annals of the colony. We 
read first of this Colonel Thomas Mann Randolph 
as a very prominent supporter of the church, it 
being recorded that in 1720 he erected an entire 

5 65 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

church building, fifty by twenty feet in size, at 
his own expense, costing fifty-four thousand nine 
hundred and ninety pounds of tobacco ; and again 
it states that a tax of three pounds ten shiUings 
was levied on the parish to defray the expenses of 
consecration of the Rev. Mr. Griffith as bishop, 
of which sum Mr. Randolph paid three pounds. 
This Colonel Randolph also had a large estate at 
Varina, on James River, which he left to his son, 
Colonel Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., who was 
Mr. Jefferson's son-in-law, but, as we shall pres- 
ently see, he spent very little of his time at Varina, 
being compelled to remain at Edgehill. 

Edgehill (always spelled by Mr. Jefferson with 
a small h) was so named by Colonel Randolph for 
the field near the village of Edgehill, in Warwick- 
shire, England, where the Cavaliers under Charles 
I. first crossed swords with the Roundheads in 
1642. As Colonel William Randolph, of Turkey 
Island, James River (the first of the family in Vir- 
ginia), emigrated from Warwickshire, England, in 
1651, soon after that exciting event, we may pre- 
sume that Colonel Randolph, of Tuckahoe, thus 
named his new home in honor of his grandfather, 
who had doubtless lived near the great battle site. 
It is said that the view from our present Edge- 
hill much resembles that of its English namesake, 
which gently slopes to the south, the battle having 
been fought on the declivity of the hill. 

In 1790, Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., after- 
wards governor of Virginia, built a large frame 
dwelling near the site of the present Edgehill 

66 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

mansion, and after his marriage with Martha Jef- 
ferson resided here most of his time. The house 
was then quite commodious and far better than 
those generally built at that day. 

Mr. Jefferson had always been anxious to have 
his son-in-law settle near Monticello. In 1791 
he writes, " I hope Mr. Randolph's idea of settling 
near Monticello will gain strength, and no other 
settlement in the mean time be fixed upon. I 
wish some expedient may be devised for settling 
him at Edgehill." Thus Mr. Jefferson exerted 
his efforts to have this building erected so that his 
daughter might be near him. 

When Colonel Thomas Mann Randolph, of 
Tuckahoe, came to Edgehill he was a widower, 
having lost his first wife, the daughter of Colonel 
Archibald Cary, of Ampthill, Chesterfield County, 
Virginia, who was the mother of his eldest son. 
Colonel Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr. When 
this son won and married the beautiful and gentle 
daughter of his neighbor on the right (Mr. Jeffer- 
son) the father turned to his neighbor on the left, 
and sought the hand of the fair and fascinating 
Gabriella Harvie, the daughter of Colonel Harvie, 
of Belmont, who, by pressure of her parents, gave 
her hand to Mr. Randolph, though her heart is 
said to have been with poor Marshall, her father's 
clerk. So it was that the father and son lived at 
Edgehill with their young wives peacefully and 
happily. Mrs. Gabriella Randolph is described as 
being a woman of great beauty and fashion, who 

made the Edgehill mansion a continual scene of 

67 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

festivity and lavish entertainments ; but this did not 
last many years, as the father soon afterwards died, 
leaving Edgehill to his son, Thomas Mann Ran- 
dolph, Jr., who, in 1819, became governor of Vir- 
ginia, and in 1825 a Presidential elector. It is 
reported that as soon as young Marshall heard that 
Mrs. Gabriella Randolph was a widow he again 
sought her hand, but this time, upon receiving a 
very cold reception, he disappeared, and was never 
heard of again. Mrs. Randolph afterwards mar- 
ried Judge Brokenborough, of the Warm Springs, 
Bath County, Virginia. 

Governor Randolph is described as being " tall 
and graceful in person, renowned in his day as an 
athlete and for his splendid horsemanship ; having 
a head and face of unusual intellectual beauty, 
bearing a distinguished name, and having an am- 
ple fortune, any woman might have been deemed 
happy who was led by him to the hymeneal altar." 
Mr. Jefferson also speaks of him as " a man of 
science, sense, virtue, and competence, in whom, 
indeed, I have nothing more to wish." 

Edgehill now became almost equal to Mon- 
ticello as a resort for the many distinguished vis- 
itors who came in the neighborhood. There the 
governor entertained the celebrated Portuguese 
botanist Correa, roaming with him over the South- 
West Mountains in search of American specimens ; 
also Leslie, the naturalist, and many others from 
Europe, who would come first to see Mr. Jeffer- 
son, and then be taken to Edgehill and the sur- 
rounding plantations. 

68 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Mr. Jefferson was so very tenacious in having 
his children and grandchildren around him that 
they spent most of their time at Monticello, and 
it was not until after his death, in 1826, that Gov- 
ernor Randolph and his family made Edgehill their 
permanent home. Previous to this Mr. Jefferson 
had placed most of his business and farming affairs 
in the hands of his young grandson, Thomas Jef- 
ferson Randolph, for whom he had formed a special 
attachment, and who spent most of his time at 
Monticello. In a letter written about the year 
1815 he says, "I am, indeed, an unskilled mana- 
ger of my farms, and, sensible of this from its 
effects, I have now committed them to better 
hands, of whose care and skill I have satisfactory 
knowledge, and to whom I have ceded their entire 
direction." 

Soon after this Governor Randolph died, leaving 
to his eldest son, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, the 
management of the Edgehill estate, upon whom 
had already devolved that of Monticello and the 
other farms of Mr. Jefferson, which for a young 
farmer of twenty-three was somewhat of an under- 
taking, but which was accomplished with a skill 
and judgment such as would have befitted one of 
many years his senior. In 1828, Colonel Thomas 
J. Randolph, finding the old family dwelling at 
Edgehill far too small for his growing family and 
the modern requirements of the day, removed 
the old building a short distance to the rear, and 
erected upon its site the front part of the present 

brick mansion. 

69 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

As an incident in connection with this removal, 
it is stated that there stood three or four young 
poplar-trees immediately in its rear, around which 
it was impossible to move the building, and not 
wishing to cut them down, they were bent down, 
and the house was made to go over them, and to- 
day these trees are still standing in all their gigantic 
strength and magnitude. 

In 1836, Mrs. Jane Nicholas Randolph, the 
wife of Colonel T. J. Randolph and daughter of 
Governor W. C. Nicholas, opened a small private 
school for the education of her own daughters 
and those of her relatives and friends, there being 
few desirable female schools at that time. She 
was gifted in an eminent degree for this under- 
taking, and such was its success that it was con- 
tinued. This was the beginning of the Edgehill 
School, an institution which has since gained so 
justly almost a national reputation. 

At the death of Mrs. Randolph the school was 
continued by her eldest daughters. Misses Mary B. 
and Sarah N. Randolph. The war then coming 
on, it was discontinued until the year 1 869, when it 
was again resumed and kept up without interruption 
until the year 1896, when it was finally closed. 

In the early seventies the school increased so 
in numbers that it was again found necessary to 
enlarge its capacities, especially in its art and 
musical departments, and this was done by util- 
izing the original frame building, which still stands 
in all its quaint appearance and undiminished 

strength of nearly one hundred years ago. 

70 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

After Miss Sarah N. Randolph estabhshed her 
famous school at Patapsco, Maryland, and later in 
Baltimore, the Edgehill Seminary was conducted 
by Miss Caroline R. Randolph, assisted by her 
nieces. Misses Mary W. Randolph, Eliza Ruffin, 
and Jane R. Harrison. The latter, as Mrs. Ran- 
dall, is now the principal of a flourishing school 
in Baltimore. 

The happy influences exerted by the daughters 
of Colonel Randolph, who inherited in a marked 
degree the fine intellectual qualities of their grand- 
mother, Martha Jefferson, who had been so care- 
fully educated by her father in Paris, have left 
their impress upon and formed some of the most 
lovely female characters of our land. Aside from 
its high literary standard, the Edgehill School 
always exerted a fine salutary, home influence upon 
its various pupils. They were taught the great 
value of possessing true womanly traits of char- 
acter, and in this and other directions the example 
of their preceptors was of incomparable value. 

In fact, too high tribute cannot be paid to the 
intellectual attainments, high character, and great 
industry of these Randolph ladies. Within the 
precincts of their beloved home they have fought 
the hard battle of life quietly but heroicly, and 
have given the world a royal example of what 
toil and perseverance can accomplish under cir- 
cumstances the most adverse and trying. When 
Colonel Randolph nobly assumed the debts of 
his grandfather, Mr. Jefferson, it practically ruined 
him financially, and when later on he sustained 

71 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

still further losses by the civil war, his financial 
condition became most desperate. It was in this 
dark hour that his heroic daughters came to the 
rescue, and by lives of sacred devotion to duty 
succeeded in lifting the heavy responsibility from 
their father's shoulders and saving the devoted 
homestead from passing into the hands of strangers. 
The world pays but scant tribute to these long, 
fierce, silent battles, and in so doing slights the 
noblest portion of its heroes and loses the far 
better part of its heroism. 

Besides the duties so faithfully performed in 
school and home, Miss Sarah N. Randolph found 
time to write her most excellent " Domestic Life 
of Thomas Jefferson," and also a " Life of Stone- 
wall Jackson." The former work portrays with 
loving touch the exquisite inner life of our great 
statesman, and in consequence must ever stand as 
one of the noblest monuments to his memory. 

Beautiful Edgehill will always be a noted spot, 
not only for its grand scenery, its extensive lawn, 
and park of majestic forest-trees ; its productive 
fields, which in 1856 produced six thousand bushels 
of wheat, at two dollars and twelve cents per bushel, 
and fourteen hundred barrels of corn ; its large 
gardens, which have become famous for their pro- 
ductions ; its grand mansion filled with relics of 
Jefferson ; its walls adorned with fine paintings, 
many of which are from the hand of a talented 
granddaughter, but more than all for being the 
home of one of Virginia's ablest governors, and 

more recently that of his son. Colonel Thomas 

72 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Jefferson Randolph, than whom there was no man 
more devoted to the interests of his county and 
State, and whose services, we fear, have not been 
duly appreciated by the present generation. As a 
single incident in his busy life, and one well worthy 
of note in view of after-events, he introduced a 
bill in the Virginia Legislature, while a representa- 
tive from Albemarle County, prior to the civil war, 
looking to the gradual emancipation of the slaves of the 
South. The times were not ripe for such a move, 
however, and the bill, with its enormous possibili- 
ties for good, failed of passage. 

In 1876, Colonel Randolph, as the representative 
descendant of Mr. Jefferson, was chosen to open the 
Philadelphia Centennial, but died just a few weeks 
before the inauguration of that famous event. 

There are many who remember him as a most 
notable man, tall in stature, with a commanding 
and dignified presence, with a countenance and 
traits of character very characteristic of Jefferson, 
with a fund of humor and anecdote most capti- 
vating in conversation, and a store of information 
which he was always ready to impart. His opinions 
were always given clearly and forcibly, and were 
received with satisfaction and delight by his many 
friends; his keen sense of justice and right com- 
bined with the beautiful character of a most hu- 
mane and gentle master, around whom his old 
slaves were wont to cluster and remain even after 
their freedom, — such was the recent master of 
Edgehill, of whom much more could be said, but 
must be reserved for a more able pen. 

73 



HISTORIC HOMES 

Nor must the visitor, as he glances over the 
beautiful landscape which stretches forth on the 
southern horizon like a vast sea, while stately 
Monticello and Carter's Mountain loom up to the 
west, with the Rivanna winding among the hills 
at its feet, lose sight of the " Edgehill Memorial 
Chapel," which sits on the gentle slope of an ad- 
jacent hill. This tasty little Gothic structure, with 
its stained windows and modest belfry, will ever 
be associated with Edgehill as a monument to 
the pious work of the various teachers and pupils 
of its famous school. To one of the beloved in- 
mates of Edgehill in particular, however, is due 
much of the success of this sacred undertaking, and 
already the beneficent effects of her gracious labors 
are felt far and wide throughout the surrounding 
countryside. 

Much of this once large estate has been sold 
and is now occupied by strangers, but the mansion, 
with several hundred acres, is still retained by the 
family, and must ever remain one of the noted his- 
toric homes of Albemarle, and be classed with 
those of Montpelier, Pen Park, Castle Hill, and 
others, which, it is hoped, will always be preserved 
to perpetuate the simple domestic lives of their 
great men. 

Edgehill will not only be dear to the hearts of 
Virginians, but also to the very many in the far 
South who have spent there so many happy days 
amid all that is pure, refined, and elevating. 



74 



BELMONT 

THE HOME OF THE EVERETTS 

CONTIGUOUS to Edgehill, on the sum- 
mit of a gentle hill crowned with lofty 
cedars and oaks, once stood the Belmont 
mansion, which for its stately proportions, unique 
architecture, and beautiful symmetry had no coun- 
terpart ; but let us turn a leaf backward before 
attempting to describe it. 

In our notice of Edgehill we have already 
mentioned Colonel John Harvie, who was the 
friend of Colonel Peter Jefferson. We find that 
this Colonel John Harvie (or Harvey, as some- 
times given) was of Welsh stock. He came to the 
county about 1730, and bought about the same 
time as his neighbor. Colonel William Randolph, 
of Tuckahoe, two thousand five hundred acres of 
land from a certain Joshua Graves, lying east of 
the Edgehill estate, and embracing the present 
farms of East Belmont, Springdale, Keswick Sta- 
tion, Broad Oak, and Everettsville. 

At the death of Colonel Peter Jefferson we find 
him the guardian of young Thomas, who, in a 
letter about the year 1 760, consults him as to his 
education ; again, in 1 790, Mr. Jefferson mentions 
Mr. Harvie as possessing a good tract of land on 
the east side of Edgehill, which he was exceed- 

75 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

ingly anxious for his son-in-law to buy, but for 
some unaccountable reason old Harvie refused to 
make him a deed, though having at first consented. 
This disappointed and irritated Mr. Jefferson very 
much, who had, while governor of Virginia, ap- 
pointed Colonel Harvie register of the land office. 
It was while holding this position that his young 
clerk, Marshall, fell in love with his daughter Ga- 
briella, but who was compelled to marry Colonel 
Thomas Mann Randolph. 

Dr. Brokenborough, of the Warm Springs, who 
was at one time president of the Bank of Virginia, 
and who afterwards married the gay widow Ran- 
dolph, thus speaks of Colonel Harvie : " Colonel 
Harvie in early life was a lawyer in Albemarle, a 
delegate to the Virginia House of Burgesses, and 
was appointed jointly with John Walker a com- 
missioner to treat with the Indians at Fort Pitt. 
He was then chosen a member of the old Con- 
gress, and afterwards elected register of the land 
office of Virginia, which was a wealthy position. 
He resigned this, and was elected a member of the 
House of Delegates from the city of Richmond, 
serving two years. He died in 1807 at his seat 
Belvidere, near Richmond, leaving seven chil- 
dren, none of whom were living in 1845 but Gen- 
eral Jaqueline Harvie and Mrs. Brokenborough, 
then in her seventy-eighth year. Colonel Harvie's 
son died young ; his son, John, married Miss Haw- 
kins ; his son. General J. Harvie, married the only 
daughter of Chief-Justice Marshall ; his son, Ed- 
win, married Miss Hardway, and died in the burn- 

76 



ii 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

ing of the Richmond Theatre. Mrs. John Harvie 
lived many years after her husband's death, most 
of her family having perished in the burning of 
the theatre in 1811. 

" It is said that Mrs. Gabriella Brokenborough, 
when her husband failed in business while in Rich- 
mond, sacrificed her home, furniture, plate, jewels, 
and all in her efforts to save him." 

Previous to his removal to Richmond, Colonel 
Harvie had placed his property in the hands of his 
friend John Rogers to be sold, and in 1811, Dr. 
Charles Everett, of Albemarle, purchased twelve 
hundred acres of the Belmont tract, while John 
Rogers retained and lived upon the portion of the 
estate known as East Belmont. 

The original house, thought to have been first 
built and occupied by Colonel John Harvie, was 
then standing in good condition, though con- 
sidered a very old building. It had nine small 
rooms, was one-and-a-half stories high, with wings 
at each end, and high dormer-windows, giving it a 
very antique appearance. 

Here Dr. Everett lived and entertained his inti- 
mate friends and neighbors with cordial hospitality. 
He was a man of great talent in his profession, 
reserved in disposition, and possessed of an indom- 
itable will. Rather suspicious of men in general, 
he was yet warm-hearted and liberal when their 
sincerity was proved, and consequently was slow 
in making friends, but very tenacious in holding 
them. He was a keen observer of human nature 
and its various workings, and often used the knowl- 

77 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

edge thus gained to the surprise and benefit of his 
many patients. Save in a few instances he was a 
disbehever in medicines, and held that the physi- 
cian's highest aim should be to assist Nature rather 
than coerce her. 

He graduated in medicine at the University of 
Pennsylvania in 1796, and, with a short interrup- 
tion, continued the practice of his profession until 
his death. 

The break in his medical career mentioned 
occurred in 1817, when he became the private sec- 
retary of President Monroe, and afterwards a rep- 
resentative in the State Legislature from the county 
of Albemarle. Soon quitting politics, he returned 
to his profession, and in a short time became one 
of the most famous physicians in the State. Be- 
sides Albemarle, his practice extended over seven 
adjoining counties, and at one time he was called 
to attend Bishop Madison in Richmond. He was 
also one of the consulting physicians in the last 
illness of President Jefferson. Though they were 
such close neighbors they were far from being very 
close political friends, — Whig vs. Democrat, — and 
even the little friendship they had nearly vanished 
when Jefferson looked up, and, seeing Dr. Everett 
one of the three, said, with a touch of grim humor, 
" Whenever I see three doctors I generally look 
out for a turkey-buzzard !" and, though Jefferson 
meant it as one of his jokes, the sensitive doctor 
took it seriously and hastily withdrew. 

He had a horror of pretence and quackery in 
all forms, and never failed to deal either a blow 

78 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

when occasion called for it. Being besieged once 
by a long-winded plough agent and having endured 
the fellow's persistency until patience ceased to be 
a virtue, he said, " No, sir, I do not care for your 
plough ; I am well supplied at present." " But, 
doctor," continued the plough vender, "if you don't 
need it now, you will need it some day." " Yes, 

you rascal ; and I will need a coffin some 

day, too, but I don't propose to buy one now." 

Upon one occasion he was called in to see a 
notorious old miser who had fallen into a profound 
stupor from which nothing could arouse him. 
After several unsuccessful efforts. Dr. Everett no- 
ticed the county sheriff passing by, and, remem- 
bering his patient's ruling passion, went out and, 
hastily summoning the official, told him to come 
into the sick man's chamber and drop his saddle- 
bags upon the floor with a loud rattle, as though 
they contained a goodly quantity of specie. This 
the officer did, and as soon as the jingle subsided. 
Dr. Everett said, " Mr. Sheriff, how much money 
did you say you had collected for Mr. Jones here '^" 
Before the sheriff could reply, the old miser stirred 
on his couch, his keen eyes opened slowly, and 
in a voice made husky with eagerness he cried, 
" How much did he say .<"' 

Dr. Everett numbered among his personal friends 
some of the most prominent men of the day, — 
Madison, Monroe, Hugh Nelson, Bishop Madison, 
Benjamin Rush, Francis Walker, Alexander Steven- 
son, James Barbour, Francis W. Gilmer (one of his 
wards), John C. Calhoun, and Governor Nicholas. 

79 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

The Hon. Francis Walker, of Castle Hill, ap- 
pointed him as guardian of his daughters, one of 
whom, Judith Page Walker, afterwards married 
the Hon. W. C. Rives, and was the grandmother 
of Amelie Rives (now Princess Troubetzkoy), the 
authoress. 

Dr. Everett died in 1848 at the age of eighty- 
one. His portrait by Naegle, a pupil and son-in- 
law of Sully, hangs on the walls at Belmont, and 
is highly prized for its artistic execution and life- 
like resemblance. 

As an evidence of its excellence in this latter 
respect, it is said that when the portrait was first 
brought from Philadelphia after the death of Dr. 
Everett it was immediately recognized by his 
faithful house-dog, the fond creature even going 
so far as to rear against the wall beneath it and 
bark loudly, as though in joyous welcome at the 
return of its long lost master. 

A fine crayon portrait of Dr. Everett in early 
manhood, by Saint-Memin, is also preserved and 
highly prized at Belmont. 

Dr. Everett left the vast bulk of his large estate, 

amounting to about two hundred and fifty thousand 

dollars, to his nephew, Dr. Charles D. Everett, of 

Philadelphia. His will directed that his many 

slaves should be freed, and that they should be 

transported to Liberia and there settled in furnished 

homes. Besides this provision for their shelter, 

one thousand dollars were given to each family as 

a start in the new life. 

Dr. Everett, Jr., becoming convinced that the 
80 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

wilds of Africa were unsuited as a home for these 
helpless, ignorant people, took advantage of a codi- 
cil to the will giving him discretionary power upon 
this point, and carried them to Mercer County, 
Pennsylvania, for settlement. 

Dr. Charles D. Everett, who succeeded to the 
Belmont estate, was a Kentuckian by birth, though 
a Virginian by descent, his ancestors having set- 
tled in Williamsburg in 1650. His father, ex- 
pecting to become an Episcopal minister, had 
received an excellent education, but, early giving 
up the sacred calling, had joined the then free and 
popular ranks of the " old Virginia planter." At 
the time of his marriage he was a wealthy resident 
of Rappahannock County, Virginia, but, alas I fol- 
lowing the custom of the times, he went security 
for a number of friends, lost nearly everything he 
had, and finally decided to move to the " wilds" 
of Kentucky, in the faint hope of recouping his 
fallen fortunes. 

He found the country utterly uncleared, but 
thinly populated, and almost entirely without the 
conveniences of civilized life. His nearest neigh- 
bors were five or ten miles distant, his mill and 
post-office even farther removed, schools were prac- 
tically unknown, and before a single crop could 
be planted the virgin forests had to be cut down 
and jthe land cleared up. Wild animals roamed 
the woods freely, and it was not an uncommon 
occurrence for the settlers to be chased by large 
packs of wolves. 

For pecuniary reasons, a return to Virginia was 

6 81 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

impossible, so the new settlers determined to make 
the best of the situation, and accept with equa- 
nimity the many attendant hardships. 

It was amid such scenes as these that Dr. Charles 
Everett first saw the light. He was born in 1806, 
and his life from his earliest youth was an extremely 
busy one. His father, accustomed to the ease and 
luxury of a Virginia planter's life, found it, not 
unnaturally, almost impossible to accept the new 
order of things, and consequently, as the years 
went by, the support of his large family fell 
almost entirely upon the shoulders of his eldest 
son. And nobly did the son perform the onerous 
and sacred duties. 

At length, his younger brothers growing up, he 
was enabled to leave home and begin the great 
battle of life for himself Owing to the circum- 
stances and surroundings of his birth and early 
youth, his acquired advantages for the contest 
were naturally few ; but he possessed those innate 
qualities of heart and brain which always win 
success, no matter how long and bitter the conflict 
may be. 

Early deciding to be a physician, he at once 

bent every energy to the acquisition of means for 

that end. Refusing the proffered aid of his wealthy 

Virginia uncle, he entered the strife single-handed. 

Of course the battle was the usual fierce one, 

wherein privations, hardships, and uncongenial 

employments played their usual prominent parts, 

but the great goal was constantly kept in view, 

and the end was happy, for in 1836 he graduated 

82 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, 
and soon thereafter began to practise his profession 
in the city of Philadelphia. 

At the time of his uncle's death in 1848 he had 
secured an excellent practice, but his health being 
very poor in the city, and the large interests of 
the vast estate left him demanding his immediate 
presence in Virginia, he determined to move thither 
at once and settle permanently on the fine old estate 
of Belmont. This he did in the early part of 
1849, taking up his abode in the old Harvie house, 
which was still standing in excellent repair. 

The writer can well remember the building 
when upon one occasion the gay and handsome 
doctor gave a party to which the entire neighbor- 
hood was invited, having the famous Scotts (old 
Jesse and his two sons Bob and Jim) as musicians, 
and such music they made as the gods of Terpsi- 
chore will never hear again in this generation, — 
such music as caused the old chateau to rock and 
reel to the cadence of the tripping feet and made 
old hearts young again ! 

After the marriage of Dr. Everett, in 1852, to 
Miss Mary Coleman, of Nelson County, Virginia, 
he determined to erect a new building more in 
accord with the progress of the times and in con- 
sonance with his refined taste for modern architec- 
ture, therefore, in 1858, the old house was moved 
to the rear, dividing it into two out-buildings, and 
upon its site the new mansion was built. 

This was of brick, stuccoed in imitation of stone. 
It was about sixty feet in length by forty-five in 

83 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

width, and rose to the grand height of fifty feet 
from the ground. It was crowned by a lofty roof, 
the summit of which was enclosed with handsome 
iron railings and used as an observation tower. 

The building was three stories in height, its 
rooms being of magnificent size and pitch. The 
entrance to the front hall was gained by a lofty 
flight of granite steps, flanked on each side by 
massive abutments, on the top of which were 
parterres of blooming flowers and stately plants. 

The wide porticos were supported by majestic 
pillars, having cast-iron capitals of Corinthian de- 
sign. The double front doors opened into a grand 
hall twenty feet wide, forty-six feet long, and 
twenty-five feet in height. In the southern end 
of this apartment a handsome gallery was con- 
structed, and in the northern end an immense 
window reached from the floor to the ceiling. 
Just in front of this window a pretty fountain 
played, its jet falling into a marble receptacle for 
goldfish. This hall was designed by Dr. Everett 
for dancing, with the gallery for musicians ; but 
it was seldom used for that purpose during his 
lifetime, though it was often the scene of other 
gay and festive occasions. Running at right 
angles to this hall were side corridors on each 
floor, built especially for the staircases and as con- 
necting passage-ways between the front and rear 
apartments. Besides these corridors and the superb 
hall the house contained thirteen large rooms, and 
the usual number of store-rooms, closets, etc. On 
the first floor were the dining- and dessert-rooms, 

84 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

the bath-room, library, and kitchen. On the 
second, the parlor, the reception-hall, and three 
bedchambers. On the third, four bedchambers 
and the gallery before mentioned. 

The immense windows on each side reached 
from the second floor to the eaves of the building, 
their lofty columns being surmounted by arched 
iron frames, giving a pleasing and most graceful 
effect. 

A large tank in the roof of the building, hold- 
ing fifteen hundred gallons, and filled by a ram 
nearly a mile distant, supplied the house with hot 
and cold water. The building was heated by a 
furnace in the basement and fireplaces in each 
room, and thus its appointments were most com- 
plete in every respect. This handsome structure 
cost seventeen thousand five hundred dollars, and 
was three years in building. Certainly no country 
house equalled it at that day, as it then stood the 
pride and ornament of the neighborhood. 

Here Dr. Everett lived a happy, useful, noble 
life, entertaining liberally his hosts of friends, 
helping the poor and needy at every turn, dis- 
pensing gifts of charity with unstinting hand, en- 
couraging the progress of the arts and sciences, 
especially as applied to agriculture, horticulture, 
and the mechanical arts. He was a man of great 
scientific research, and would put many theories 
into practical shape to the great benefit of his 
neighbors. 

When the civil war came on it found Dr. Ev- 
erett of an age which exempted him from actual 

85 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

service, yet he put in a substitute, and also took 
his place in the ranks of the little " Home Guard" 
beside his more humble neighbors. Such was his 
intense devotion to the Southern cause that he 
fitted out an entire company with arms and uni- 
forms at his own expense. His house was always 
besieged by passing soldiers, none of whom ever 
left his door during those dark days without being 
most liberally fed and entertained. It was here 
that General Jubal Early made his head-quarters 
at one time during the war ; and when the appeal 
rang forth for money and help during the last sad 
struggle of the expiring Confederacy, he cheerfully 
lent the government one hundred and ten thousand 
dollars, none of which, it is needless to say, was 
ever returned. Such peerless deeds as these should 
be recorded as in marked contrast to the sordid, 
money-grabbing spirit of the present day, and 
with the hope that our youth may be stimulated 
to perpetuate such true patriotism. 

After the war Dr. Everett continued to exert 
himself in " doing good" and in building up the 
shattered fortunes of his State. We find him 
frequently teaching the ignorant blacks, or as a 
faithful superintendent of a Sunday-school, or the 
president of an agricultural society, or in whatever 
position placed he exemplified a noble, true Chris- 
tian character. 

Dr. Everett died in 1877, gently passing away 
in the noble mansion which he had reared and 
adorned with his own hands, and it was not many 
years after when it, too, passed away. 

86 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

It was Sunday, the i ith of March, 1883, while 
the family were at the little " South Plains" church, 
two miles distant, that the top of the building was 
seen to be on fire. It had caught from sparks on 
the roof during a high wind. The building being 
very prominent the fire was quickly seen, and 
neighbors from a distance rushed to the rescue, 
hoping to save the house, but this was impossible, 
as the entire top was quickly a mass of flames. 

As soon as Mrs. Everett reached the house she 
calmly walked into the burning building, and with 
a presence of mind such as few would possess 
under such circumstances she secured most of her 
valuable papers and jewelry. 

Again the old chateau, now fully two hundred 
years old, remodelled and moved back upon its 
ancient site, is doing good service by sheltering 
the family, its timbers as sound as ever, surrounded 
by stately elms and Kentucky coffee-nuts, lofty 
poplars, and the graceful Green Mountain ash, 
which was brought from Vermont as a small 
switch in his trunk by the elder Dr. Everett 
and planted by him where it now stands a giant 
tree. 

From the summit of Belmont the visitor can 
enjoy a view of magnificent and surpassing beauty 
and such as the hills along the South- West Moun- 
tains alone can afford ; but a sigh of deep regret 
will ever escape from the many who can remember 
the once stately Belmont mansion, which formed 
one of the happiest as well as the most picturesque 
homes along this famous region. 

87 



HISTORIC HOMES 

The ten children of Dr. and Mrs. Everett are : 

1. Alice Kate, born December 16, 1852; died August 2, 

1871. 

2. Mary Coleman, born December 13, 1854. 

3. Clara, born October, 1856; died April 6, 1859. 

4. Louise Montague ; married Charles Landon Scott, a 

prominent lawyer of Amherst County, Virginia, 
August 26, 1885. They have eight children. 

5. Charles Edward, died October 1, 1887. 

6. John Coleman, physician in Nelson County ; married 

Nellie Martin, of same county, August 26, 1885. 
They have four children. 

7. Aylette Lee ; married Miss Sadie G. Fry, of Albemarle, 

January 24, 1888. Have three children living. 

8. Hettie Hawes. 

9. Joseph William ; manages the Belmont Farm. 
10. Alice Harrison. 



88 



EAST BELMONT 

THE HOME OF ISAAC LONG, ESQ. 

THREE families of prominence have resided 
at East Belmont, — Rogers, Thurman, and 
Long, — each of which claim our attention 
as being among the first to locate in Virginia. 

Mention has already been made of John Rogers, 
the friend of Colonel John Harvie, of Belmont, 
who, in 1811, sold to the elder Dr. Everett the 
greater portion of that tract. The remainder of 
this extensive plantation, which contained more 
than two thousand acres, Mr. Rogers bought him- 
self, and built there the frame part of the present 
mansion, now owned and occupied by Mr. Isaac 
Long. His great friendship for old Dr. Everett, 
and the constant and close intimacy between them, 
led " Farmer" John (as he was universally called) 
to retain the name of Belmont ("beautiful moun- 
tain") by simply adding the word East, to show 
its position. It is said that previous to settling 
here he made a trip out West with a view of 
locating there, but after wandering over many 
States he concluded that there was no fairer section 
in the country than Albemarle, so, returning, he 
selected the beautiful stretch of table-land at the 
foot of Hammock's Gap. We have already given 

a sketch of the Rogers family in the notice of 

89 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Pantops, from whom this " Farmer" John is a di- 
rect descendant, and like his contemporary Rich- 
ard Sampson, of Goochland, won much celebrity 
as a farmer, and was known throughout the State 
for his skill and success in agriculture. After his 
death the estate fell to his son John, who married 
a Miss Sampson, also a direct descendant of Rich- 
ard Sampson, of Goochland, and sister of the late 
Stephen F. Sampson. This John Rogers, Jr., 
built the brick addition, or front part of the house, 
as it now stands, and greatly improved the place. 
It is also remarkable to state that all the brick of 
the house were burnt and laid by a colored work- 
man named Lewis Level, he doing nearly the 
entire work himself, the substantial quality of 
which still shows a skill not usually found among 
negroes. 

This was one of the very few brick buildings then 
erected along the mountains, and was quite con- 
spicuous. John Rogers, Jr., lived here for many 
years, a most prosperous farmer and most influen- 
tial citizen. At his death his widow and her two 
sons, Thornton and William, retained the place, it 
being worked for several years by her brother, 
Stephen F. Sampson, who, with his sisters, also 
lived there. About the year 1840 Mrs. Rogers 
married Edward Thurman, of Tennessee, after 
which Mr. Sampson moved to Springdale, an off- 
shoot of Belmont, which was located at the foot of : 
the gap. 

" Farmer" John had also another son, named 

Thornton, who was a Presbyterian clergyman, and 

90 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

who married Miss Margaret Hart, the sister of 
the late James Hart, of Fruitland, the adjoining 
farm. The lower part of the East Belmont farm 
was then cut off and given to this Rev. Thornton 
Rogers, who built there his home called Keswick, 
located near the county road. He also built the 
" South Plains" church upon a part of the land 
below the road, and was its pastor until his death, 
thus establishing one of the first churches of that 
denomination in Albemarle. 

Edward Thurman, who married the Widow 
Rogers, was descended from the prominent Thur- 
man family who have figured so largely in the po- 
litical history of our country, some of whom were 
among the first settlers of Albemarle, and fill an in- 
teresting page in its history. The first of the name 
in America was Benjamin Thurman, who, with his 
brother, settled on the north side of the South- 
West Mountains about the year 1732. His 
brother afterwards moved to Campbell County. 
The house which Benjamin Thurman first built 
stood not far from where the road passes over the 
mountain at Hammock's Gap. From Benjamin 
Thurman descended the Rev. Pleasant Thurman, 
and through him Allen G. Thurman, who was 
chief justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio, Sena- 
tor from Ohio, and was the Vice-Presidential can- 
didate in 1888 with Mr. Cleveland. He also re- 
ceived the nomination for governor of Ohio three 
times, but which was declined each time. 

Benjamin Thurman had built his house and was 
living at Hammock's Gap as early as 1 734, and 

91 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

was said to be living there as late as 1825. He 
married Miss Carr, a lady of rare intelligence and 
education. She is said to have written some very 
fine verses, specimens of which are preserved in 
the family to this day ; they were chiefly hymns, 
all of her poems being of a religious character, 
many of which were adopted by order of the 
" church" and sung regularly in " meeting." 

Hammock's Gap derives its name from a hunter 
whose cabin stood just in the gap. Some of the 
property which Benjamin Thurman obtained came 
through this William Hammock as assignee, His 
Excellency Governor Henry Lee, of Virginia, 
having signed the documents in the year 1792, 
and another patent from George II. was signed in 
1734 by William Gooch, then governor of the 
colony. 

Tradition says such was the religious fervor of 
Mrs. Benjamin Thurman that when she visited her 
distant neighbors in the valley below before leaving 
them she would gather the household — whites, 
slaves, and all — for singing and prayers, in imita- 
tion of the disciples. 

From Benjamin Thurman descended Elisha 

Thurman and Dr. Fendall Thurman. Elisha 

remained here, and lived on the top of Wolf Pit 

Mountain, now known as Edgehill Mountain. 

He owned the entire mountain, with adjoining 

lands on the north side. The old house in 

which he lived has long since been removed, and 

no vestige of it remains except the stone fence 

which surrounded the garden and the walls of the 

92 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

cellar. The name of the mountain (Wolf Pit) 
was given from a large pit made by this Elisha 
Thurman in rear of his corn-house to catch the 
wolves and other wild animals which frequently 
depredated upon his sheep. The spot is still 
pointed out by knowing ones, and is also referred 
to by Dr. G. B. Goode in his excellent address 
made before the United States Geographic Society 
in 1896 at Monti cello. He says,^- 

" I have myself seen in this locality pits partially 
filled up which were used as wolf-traps not half a 
century ago, and have talked with a man whose 
father had seen a herd of buffalo crossing Roanoke 
River, less than two hundred miles south-west of 
Charlottesville, called Buffalo Ford." 

In 1743 wolves and buffalo were still abundant 
along the mountains, and the inhabitants were ac- 
customed to collect bounties in tobacco for their 
capture. The stream called Wolf Trap Branch, 
near Charlottesville, also preserves the memory of 
those times. 

On the highest point of Wolf Pit Mountain 
is a spot called View Rock, from which is ob- 
tained one of the most extensive prospects in Al- 
bemarle, embracing in panoramic scope nearly the 
entire county, extending from Liberty Mills in 
Madison County, with the entire interlying valley 
reaching far beyond Charlottesville, to Gordonsville 
in Orange County, and on the south as far as the 
eye can reach into Nelson County, all of which 
can be seen without moving one's position on the 
rock, embracing also a view of more than fifteen 

93 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

miles of the Rivanna River as it winds among the 
foot-hills. 

It was from these steep mountain sides that the 
entire supply of firewood for the University of 
Virginia was once obtained before the advent of 
coal. The marks of the graded road from Pantops 
to its summit are still to be seen which was used 
by Colonel " Jeff" Randolph and Elisha Thurman 
in drawing the wood to the college, they having 
obtained the contract for its supply. 

Dr. Fendall Thurman, the younger son of Ben- 
jamin Thurman, emigrated early to Memphis, Ten- 
nessee, and there amassed a fortune by trading with 
the Indians and practising his profession. Before 
leaving Virginia he married Miss Ann Royster, 
daughter of David Royster, of Goochland County, 
whose wife was Elizabeth Sampson, sister of the 
famous Richard Sampson who lived at the elegant 
old Virginia homestead Dover, of which we have 
already written. 

From this union descended Edward Thurman, 
of East Belmont. The wife of Elisha Thurman is 
said to have been also very religious, and frequently 
opened her house on top of the mountain for preach- 
ing, there being no church building nearer than 
the court-house at Charlottesville, which was then 
used by all denominations. She also organized the 
first Sunday-school in the county at her house. 

In 1817, it is stated that John Thurman, George 
Walker, and James McGee formed the first Sab- 
bath-school in the State in the Methodist Episcopal 
church at Lynchburg. 

94 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Mr. Edward Thurman lived at East Belmont 
for many years, becoming a most successful farmer 
and prominent citizen. The famous old farm 
under his management maintained its former repu- 
tation for large crops, yielding frequently five 
thousand bushels of wheat in one season, which 
would be sold at two dollars per bushel, and other 
crops were in like proportion, gaining for East 
Belmont the celebrity for being the most pro- 
ductive farm along the South-West Mountains. 

In 1879, Mr. Thurman sold eight hundred and 
eighty-eight acres of this fine tract to Mr. Isaac 
Long, of Page County, Virginia, leaving still 
about four hundred and fifty acres of the original 
farm, which had previously passed to the Spring- 
dale and Keswick farms on each side of it. East 
Belmont fell into hands no less distinguished than 
its owners of the past. Mr. Isaac Long is the 
son of the late Isaac Long, Sr., who was born 
at and lived on the Old Fort Long homestead, 
the large estate of which was originally acquired 
under the English crown in 1720 by his paternal 
ancestor, Philip Long, who was one of the first 
to settle in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. 
Here he died at the age of sixty-two, being one 
of the most prominent and influential men of the 
county of Page, and was celebrated as a most 
successful farmer. 

His son, Isaac Long, the present owner of East 
Belmont, married, in 1856, Elizabeth H. Mohler, 
eldest daughter of Colonel Jacob Mohler, who 
came into possession of the noted Weyer's Cave of 

95 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Augusta County in 1834, it having been held by the 
Mohler family for many years. Colonel Mohler was 
a direct descendant of Ludwig Mohler, of Swit- 
zerland, who came to America in the good ship 
" Thistle" in 1 730. The Mohlers first settled in 
Pennsylvania, the house which John Mohler built in 
1 764 is still standing near Ephrata, Pennsylvania. 

Colonel Mohler lived at Weyer's Cave for many 
years, and was widely known as the proprietor of 
this wonderful freak of nature, which he was the 
first to open to the public. 

Colonel Mohler was also distinguished for being 
an officer in the Mexican war, a man of great 
integrity of character and learning, and a stanch 
Methodist and temperance advocate. In 1846 he 
moved to Page County, where he lived until his 
death, which occurred in Baltimore, Maryland, at 
the advanced age of seventy-six. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Mohler Long, of East Bel- 
mont, is also closely related to many of the most 
eminent families of Virginia, the Mohlers having 
intermarried with the Grigsbys, Andersons, McCor- 
micks, McNutts, Hamiltons, and Hickmans, each 
of which have given the State many illustrious 
characters, among whom we may mention Hugh 
Blair Grigsby the historian ; General John Warren 
Grigsby, of the Confederate army under General 
Joe Wheeler; Captain Reuben Grigsby, of the I 
United States army in the war of 1812, and 
also a member of the Virginia House of Dele- 
gates ; General Joseph R. Anderson, of Richmond, 

who graduated at West Point, was in the Florida 

96 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

war, and afterwards established the Tredegar Iron- 
Works, of Richmond, Virginia ; Governor Wil- 
Ham McCorkle, of West Virginia ; Dr. James 
Gardener Hickman, of Missouri, who gave to 
Henrietta Hamilton McCormick the celebrated 
powder-horn carried by Alexander McNutt at the 
battle of the Cowpens, in the Revolutionary war ; 
Leander James McCormick of " Reaper" fame, 
whose father, Robert McCormick, began the man- 
ufacture of his great invention on a small scale in 
Virginia, but which after his death was improved 
upon by his son Leander, who moved to Chicago 
in 1846, where, with his brother Cyrus, he built 
up one of the greatest establishments in the coun- 
try. It is this Leander McCormick who gave the 
large telescope and observatory to the University 
of Virginia. 

Though proud of such distinguished kinship, 
which richly entitles her as a " Daughter of the 
Revolution," yet Mrs. Long is of a most retiring 
disposition and reluctant to boast of her noble 
ancestry. Some of these celebrated men have 
honored East Belmont with their presence, thus 
adding to its historic fame of the past. 

Mr. Isaac Long for a number of years was 
magistrate for the county of Page, and also served 
the county for two terms in the Virginia House 
of Delegates. 

Since coming to Albemarle he has devoted 
himself entirely to agriculture, making many im- 
provements to the East Belmont farm and reap- 
ing from its rich fields most bountiful crops. 

7 97 



HISTORIC HOMES 

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Long are : 

1. J. Ernest Long, of Orange Court-House, Virginia; 

married, November 26, 1890, Nannie Watson, of 
Green Springs, Louisa County, Virginia. 

2. Laviece Long; married, June 28, 1892, Harvie Sibert, 

of Sedalia, Missouri. 

3. Linda F. Long; died young. 

4. Lula Latrobe Long. 

5. Isaac Trimble Long; married, December 19, 1891, 

Ada White, of Leesburg, Virginia, now of Fairfax 
County. 

6. Bessie Mohler Long. 

7. Frances Blair Long. 

8. D. Grigsby Long. 

9. Margaret Long; married, January 2, 1897, Robert 

Adelbert Dewees, of Del Rio, Texas, now of 
Chicago, Illinois. 

10. James Carroll Long. 

11. Thomas G. Long; died young. 

It is needless to say that these bright sons and 
daughters have served to make East Belmont 
very charming and attractive, especially as their 
parents have been wont to keep up the old hos- 
pitable style of the valley, in good living, boun- 
teous cheer, and much festivity, which has made 
their beautiful home the scene of many bright 
gatherings, which will always linger in the hearts 
of those who were fortunate to be among the 
happy participants. 



98 



SUNNY SIDE 

THE SUMMER RESIDENCE OF J. B. PACE, ESQ. 

THIS place originally was a portion of what 
was once known as Clark's tract. Dr. 
Micajah H. Clark, the eldest son of Major 
James Clark, here first lived and built quite a 
good-sized frame building, which was early es- 
tablished as a tavern, being situated immediately 
upon the stage-road leading from Charlottesville 
to Gordonsville ; here were also located extensive 
stables for the relay of horses, thus affording quite 
a market at that time to the surrounding farmers 
for their abundant crops of hay and grain. With 
its many out-buildings and daily business enter- 
prise the place assumed quite the appearance of a 
small village, hence it was called Clarksville, a 
name which it long retained. The tavern itself 
was first conducted by Miss Bettie Clark, the sis- 
ter of " Kid Clark of the Pines," who is said to 
have been quite a stirring old lady, who ran the 
business much to her own liking. 

Dr. Micajah Clark, who was then quite a prom- 
inent physician, evidently married twice, though 
the " Meriwether Family" book states only one 
union ; but if we visit the old Clark burying- 
ground in the " Pines," near which the site of Kid 
Clark's house is still to be seen, we will there find 

99 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

a solitary marble slab bearing the following in- 
scription : 

" Caroline Virginia Clark, 

Infant daughter of 

Dr. Micajah Clark 

and 

Caroline Virginia Clark. 

Born Nov'' 21=', 183 i. 

Died Sept' 15, 1832." 

This Caroline Virginia must have been the first 
wife of Dr. Clark, and presumably died soon after 
their marriage. He married secondly, Margaret 
Sampson, of the same family as his neighbor Ste- 
phen F. Sampson. 

After living here a short time he and his family 
moved to the West, where many of his children 
settled and married. 

Clarksville then reverted to his eldest daugh- 
ter, Anne M., who married Colonel Richard Wat- 
son, of the Green Springs, Louisa County, Vir- 
ginia. Colonel Watson continued the old tavern 
during the forties, and did quite a large business 
with the stage lines ; after this he removed to Char- 
lottesville and conducted for a number of years 
one of the university boarding-houses, after which 
he retired to his farm, Poplar Forest, near Mil- 
ton, where he died. This genial and popular gen- 
tleman was truly one of those strikingly attractive 
Virginians of the past of whom we now read 
much of, but who are rarely to be seen. 

After his death Clarksville was inherited by his 
eldest daughter, Jane M., who married William 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

H. Fry, of Richmond. Mr. Fry did not reside at 
Clarksville very long, as the civil war coming on 
he moved to Richmond, where he engaged largely 
in business and became one of its prominent citi- 
zens. 

Just previous to the breaking out of hostilities 
Clarksville was rented to a Northern gentleman 
named Furslew, who was quite an eccentric char- 
acter, being extremely fanciful in his ideas of farm- 
ing and beautifying the place, which he began by 
forming a large lake near where the present one is, 
and filling the lawn with many kinds of shrubs 
and flowers quite new to this section, and laying 
out plans for improving the farm upon the North- 
ern system ; but the war coming on frustrated his 
designs, his sympathies being altogether antago- 
nistic to the South, he therefore quickly sold his 
household possessions at a sacrifice and suddenly 
left. 

Clarksville was then occupied during the war 
by Mr. Wilson Summerville, a refugee from Cul- 
peper County. This hearty, jovial, old Virginia 
gentleman made it a very pleasant place during 
those sad days. Though well in years he was as 
active as a youth, and during a festive night would 
dance with all the spirit of a boy. Clarksville, 
however, had always been a merry place, where 
dancing was wont to be displayed in the true old 
Virginia style ; the vivid picture of its then owner, 
William H. Fry, cutting the double and triple 
pigeon-wing in the Virginia reel is still in the eye 
of the writer. 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

After the civil war Clarksville was bought by 
Mr. Michell, an Enghshman, who, under the firm 
of Vaughan, Michell & Co., had also purchased 
the large farm of Fruitland, where they attempted 
English farming on Virginia soil, but which 
proved ineffective. This gentleman began to 
make the first real improvements which have so 
changed its appearance. The old tavern was made 
to assume a more modern aspect by the addi- 
tion of a large rear wing, and with other enlarge- 
ments it formed quite a cosey English chateau, 
where much hospitality and cultivated refinement 
were shown. 

It became an attractive place for the many Eng- 
lish residents who had been drawn to this beauti- 
ful part of Virginia. Here they would frequently 
gather and enjoy with true English spirit the many 
games and amusements of the old country. 

After the signal failure of Messrs. Vaughan, 
Michell & Co. in their farming enterprise, Clarks- 
ville reverted to Mr. Fry, who then sold it to Mr. 
James B. Pace, of Richmond, Virginia, its present 
owner. 

Upon taking possession of Clarksville, Mr. Pace 
at once began its real transformation into one of 
the handsomest places along these beautiful hills. 
The old Colonial building which had so long 
been familiar to the public view was now entirely 
snuffed out by having a stately two-story edifice 
built completely over it, and when finished the 
little, low one-story dwelling was pulled to pieces 
and thrown out of the windows of the new build- 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

ing, which towered so far above it. The lake 
which had been begun by Furslew was greatly- 
enlarged, having islands connected by rustic bridges, 
with arbors amid a wealth of foliage, around which 
floated miniature gondolas, giving it truly an Ori- 
ental aspect. The lawn and adjacent grounds were 
most artistically laid out with beds of many varie- 
gated flowers and shrubs, while a spacious green- 
house on one side afforded a rich variety of tropi- 
cal plants. Altogether the embellishments of the 
grounds alone cost seventeen hundred dollars, while 
the total expense of the place, with its large barns, 
stables, and extensive gardens, its wide fields, each 
bordered with rows of trees, and the many outside 
improvements, has been more than twenty-five 
thousand dollars. Certainly no country-seat in 
Virginia is more complete in all its appointments 
than Sunny Side, which was so renamed for its 
bright and cheerful aspect and the sunshine of 
many happy days there spent by joyous youth. 

Thus it still stands in all its beauty, which is 
largely due to the skill and taste of Mr. Henry 
Brown, an English landscape gardener and florist, 
who for many years had charge of the place, and 
has shown what Virginia farms can be made to 
assume under the art of scientific and skilful man- 
agement. 

In the midst of this immense growth of noble 
oaks and stately evergreens sits the spacious man- 
sion which is almost hid from view, affording that 
retired seclusion so delightfully enchanting to rural 
life, and which gives to Sunny Side a peculiar 

103 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

charm. Here the expenditure of wealth and art 
has gained not only pleasure and comfort to its in- 
mates, but has instilled a higher sense of beauty 
and culture to others who are striving with lauda- 
ble ambition to make their homes more picturesque 
and beautiful, and to discard the careless and im- 
provident system of a past age. 

Mr. J. B. Pace is one of the few self-made men 
of Virginia who have risen from a plain farmer's 
boy to great wealth. He was born in 1837, his 
father being Granville T. Pace, a successful planter 
of Henry County, Virginia. VV^ith few advantages 
of education he entered quite early into active 
business, and when but fifteen years of age began 
to actively engage in the manufacture of tobacco. 
In 1858 he moved to Danville, Virginia, and mar- 
ried that year Miss Bessie Neal, daughter of Mr. 
Thomas D. Neal, of Halifax County, Virginia. 
Mr. Neal had married Miss Carter, daughter of 
the celebrated Samuel Carter, who, it is said, never 
bought anything for his family but tea, coffee, and 
sugar, all else for the table or to wear being made 
on his large plantation. 

Mr. Pace continued in the manufacture of the 

leaf at Danville for several years in connection 

with his father-in-law, Mr. Neal, until 1865, when 

he moved to Richmond, where he greatly enlarged 

the tobacco business. During the war Mr. Pace 

could not take an active part owing to ill-health 

and a delicate constitution ; but he became a most 

liberal contributor in aid of the Confederate cause, 

and when the end came he found much of his 

104 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

hard-earned fortune swept away ; but with the 
same energy which has marked his career he began 
again the tobacco business upon a much larger 
scale, which soon attained gigantic proportions, 
causing his success to be most marked and rapid. 

Few men have gained so early in life such emi- 
nence in business circles, or commanded such con- 
fidence among influential men, and though meet- 
ing with many reverses, yet his constant energy 
and continued success seemed unimpeded until it 
reached into the millions. Much of the beauty 
and improvement of Richmond is due to Mr. 
Pace. Besides many private residences he has 
erected several large public buildings which are an 
ornament to the city and give it a commercial 
influence. 

Nor must we lose sight of her whose quiet 
liberality and sympathetic feeling for suffering hu- 
manity go hand in hand with her public-spirited 
husband, dispensing of their wealth most liberally 
among the various Christian institutions as well as 
the poor and needy in private walks of life. 

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Pace, nine in 
number, are : 

1. Nannie; married Mr. Donnan, of Petersburg, Virginia. 

Died July 29, 1881. 

2. Violet; married the Right Rev. Milville Jackson, Bishop 

of Alabama. Died in Richmond, 1893. 

3. Thomas; died in 1886, aged twenty-one years. 

4. Carrie ; married Mr. W. W. Hite, of Louisville, Ken- 

tucky, January 4, 1888. 

5. James. 

6. Bessie. 

105 



HISTORIC HOMES 

7. Edgar. 

8. Mary Carter; married Mr. Robert Newell Groner, 

son of General Groner, of Norfolk, Virginia, Febru- 
ary 15, 1897. 

9. Ethel Randolph, so named in honor of the Misses Ran- 

dolph, of Edgehill Seminary, who educated the three 
eldest daughters, Nannie, Violet, and Carrie. 

Mr. Pace has given his children every advantage 
for the highest education, sending three of them, 
James, Carrie, and Bessie, to Europe, where they 
had the opportunity of the foreign schools of art 
and science. 



106 



FRUITLAND 

THE RESIDENCE OF A. P. FOX, ESQ. 

THE historic interest of this place lies in the 
fact that here was once the home of the 
Clark family, whose name is interwoven 
with that of Lewis, in connection of their many 
brilliant deeds during the early period of our 
country. 

The Fruitland tract lies between East Belmont 
and Cismont, embracing at one time the present 
Sunny Side and Cedar Hill farms, and was very 
early known as Clark's tract, which extended from 
the summit of Sugar-Loaf Mountain to far be- 
low the present county road. This large area was 
taken from the famous Meriwether tract under the 
king's patent, as we find Elizabeth Meriwether, 
the daughter of Colonel Nicholas Meriwether, of 
Clover Fields, married Thomas Walker Lewis, and 
their daughter, Margaret Douglas Lewis, married 
James Clark, an officer in the Revolutionary army, 
who afterwards settled at Fruitland. 

But the first settlement made upon the tract 

was by Kid Clark, the father of this James Clark, 

who built a small house near the mountain, at a 

spot known as the " Pines." The site of his house 

is still to be seen near the boundary-line between 

Fruitland and Cismont farms. This first dwelling 

107 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

was standing in 1811, but upon taking possession 
of Cismont Mr. Peter Meriwether moved a por- 
tion of it to his own place, where it now stands 
as one of the oldest relics of the past. Previous 
to this Major " Jimmie" Clark, as he was generally- 
called, had built the Fruitland house, the rear part 
of which shows its great antiquity. 

At first this place was called Ben Coolin, a 
name only found in the island of Sumatra ; but 
as the Clark family were of Scotch origin, " Ben," 
signifying mountain, and " Colyn" or " Coolin," 
the Scotch term for " breezy," we can readily 
see that its early settlers gave its name for some 
lofty hill in Scotland meaning "Breezy Mountain," 
being most appropriate to the Fruitland location, 
which rises from the plain to quite a prominent 
elevation, which makes captive the mountain 
breezes from every point. 

Major Clark lived for many years at Fruitland, 
raising a family of two sons and four daughters. 
About the year 1830 he sold the farm to John 
Carr, who lived on top of the mountain, and 
started for Missouri, with his wife and children, 
on his sixtieth birthday, but did not long survive 
the tedious journey, as he died in St. Louis in 
1838. Major Clark was a near relative of Gen- 
eral George Rogers Clarke, the " Hannibal of the 
West," who died in Kentucky in 1817, also to 
William Clarke, his brother, both of whom were 
born in Albemarle, not far from Charlottesville. 
Their father also moved to Kentucky, and settled, 

in 1 784, upon the present site of Louisville. 

108 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

All of the Clark (or Clarke) family have been 
prominent in our country's early history ; and 
whether they are descended through Robert Clark, 
who is first mentioned in Virginia history in 1728, 
or from the New England Clarkes, Thomas Clarke 
being the mate of the " Mayflower," is not clearly 
shown, but the name, whether spelled with the 
final " e " or not, is believed to be of the same 
stock, whose descendants are now to be found in 
every State of our broad Union. 

John Gay Carr lived at Fruitland some years 
and then sold it to the late James Hart, who mar- 
ried first, a Miss Harris, and second, Mrs. Frances 
Meriwether nee Frances E. Thomas, of Kentucky. 
Mr. Hart became a most successful farmer, real- 
izing large crops from his extended fields, and, 
like its neighbor East Belmont, the Fruitland farm 
became noted for its waving fields of hay and 
droves of fat cattle. Mr. Hart gave its present 
name of Fruitland for its large orchards of fine 
fruit, some of the apple-trees of fifty years ago still 
bearing their luxuriant crops of luscious fruit. 

After the death of Mr. Hart Fruitland was sold 
to a company of Englishmen, who made the first 
payment with the expectation of completing the 
full purchase from proceeds of the farm ; but Eng- 
lish farming was found not quite applicable to Vir- 
ginia, and after one or two years of failure it was 
again sold, and purchased by Mr. A. P. Fox, a re- 
tired merchant of Richmond, who had married one 
of Mr. Hart's daughters. 

Though coming with little or no experience as 
109 



HISTORIC HOMES 

a farmer, yet Mr. Fox has greatly improved the 
mansion, and by his skill and energy made Fruit- 
land to yield its bountiful crops as of old. The 
cooling summer breezes still waft through its old 
oaks surrounding the now modernized mansion, 
alluring to their pleasant shade many visitors from 
the heated cities. Here one can view from its 
summit the peaceful valley below, studded with 
handsome residences, having the village of Kes- 
wick and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 
nestled at its foot, while in the distance sits the 
village of Cismont on the one hand, and Mon- 
ticello on the other, — truly a picture most en- 
chanting. 

In 1 850, Mr. Hart gave his eldest son the north- 
eastern portion of the farm, upon which he built 
quite a portentous brick building, which sits on 
the summit of one of the highest detached hills 
from the mountain. This place he named Cedar 
Hill, for its many cedars which crowned it. But 
he lived here only a short time, selling it in 1856 
to Mr. H. A. Burgoyne, of New York, and since 
1863 it has passed through several hands, its pres- 
ent owner being Mr. J. N. Black. The interest in 
this spot centres upon a small frame house which 
once stood at the foot of the hill beside a bold 
spring, which was surrounded by lofty poplars and 
many fruit-trees. Here lived an eccentric old man 
named De Foe, who kept a little grocery, and the 
legend is told that Mr. Jefferson frequently stopped 
here on his journeys to Washington to stir up a 
toddy and talk politics with the old man. 



X 

- G 

c C 

^•2 




CISMONT 

THE SUMMER HOME OF COLONEL H. W. 
FULLER 

IF there is any place where joy, happiness, and 
peace have truly dwelt, where youth and old 
age have spent happy hours of the past, and 
where the true Virginia type of hospitality and 
royal good living were to be seen, that place is 
Cismont, now the beautiful home of Colonel H. 
W. Fuller, so widely known as the general ticket 
agent of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway sys- 
tem. 

The first settlement of Cismont dates back to a 
period beyond the ken of the present generation. 

In 1800 there stood an old frame building, one 
and a half stories, at the foot of the hill, on the 
summit of which the present mansion stands. 
This old building was very ancient in appearance, 
and even then was considered of centennial date, 
as its peaked roof and rickety boards fully attested. 
There it sat nursed and cradled among the sur- 
rounding hills for so many years. Near its door- 
step flowed a clear, bold spring, which still gives 
forth its crystal waters, while lofty oaks, pines, and 
poplars sheltered it from the noonday sun. Long 
lines of fruit-trees bordered the lane which led to 
the public road, while luxuriant fields of waving 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

grass, wheat, and corn betokened the virgin rich- 
ness of its soil. It was a cosey and inviting spot 
as it then stood, in all its rude surroundings of that 
real old Virginia period when exteriors were con- 
sidered of less importance than interior comforts. 
Such was the first Cismont house, though tradition 
says that there have been five dwellings erected on 
different parts of the farm, and one " meeting- 
house," which latter stood near the little stream 
which passes at the foot of the hill. On this 
stream, near a large rock still to be seen, was a 
deep pool of water used for baptizing, which was 
called " Grandma's" from the fact of so many old 
people being baptized there. At this spot was 
baptized Miss Betty Clark, the sister of Kid 
Clark. She was called " Aunt Betsy," and kept the 
tavern at Clarksville (now Sunny Side) for many 
years. 

Previous to this, however, the old Cismont house 
is said to have been used also as a tavern, kept by a 
man named Moore, and, as it stood not far from 
the county road, the daily stages would sweep up 
to its door for passengers to partake of the good 
cheer within while exchanging horses. 

About the year 1820, Peter Minor Meriwether 
came here to live with his young bride, Mary 
Walker Meriwether, the eldest daughter of Captain 
William D. Meriwether, of Clover Fields, who, as 
we shall see, owned all the lands from this point to 
Belvoir, being a part of the original Meriwether 
tract, which extended to the Turkey Sag road. 

It is said that while courting his pretty " Cousin 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Polly" he became so discouraged that he threat- 
ened to leave Virginia for the far West ; this 
decided at once the fair lady, who consented on 
condition that he would live here. Captain Meri- 
wether then gave them four hundred acres of the 
Clover Fields tract, upon which the old tavern 
stood. In 1824, Mr. Meriwether added several 
small tracts, and in 1841 purchased of his father-in- 
law more than two hundred acres lying on Sugar- 
loaf Mountain, thus making the total Cismont 
farm six hundred and forty-one acres. Mr. Meri- 
wether was a direct descendant of David Meri- 
wether, the fourth son of Nicholas Meriwether 
(2d), and grandson of Nicholas (1st), the first of 
the name in America. 

They are said to have been English Quakers and 
once spelled the name " Merry weather." They 
had the personal friendship of George II., who be- 
stowed upon the first Nicholas Meriwether a grant 
for more than eleven thousand acres of land, most 
of which embraced the South- West Mountains, 
and extended into Louisa and Fluvanna Counties. 
When we come to describe the homesteads of 
Clover Fields and Kinloch we will enter more 
fully into their history, which forms one of the 
most interesting chapters in the early settlement of 
this historic region. 

The new home was saddened by the death 

of Mrs. Meriwether in 1832. In 1836, Mr. 

Meriwether married Mrs. Frances W. Tapp, of 

Oak Hill, near Stony Point. About this time 

he also began to erect a new dwelling upon the 
8 113 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

top of the hill, which he named Cismont. The 
brick for this building was burnt and laid in 1836 
by a celebrated mechanic named McMullin, who 
built about the same time the Edgeworth house 
and several others in the county. At the comple- 
tion of this new house in 1 837, the fame and glory 
of Cismont began : its noted fertility, the over- 
flowing hospitality of its owner, the vivacity and 
charming grace of its mistress, combined to give it 
a celebrity such as few places possessed. 

But before we enter upon the gay scenes of the 
new mansion, let us glance again at the old cha- 
teau under' the hill, whose attractive scenes still 
linger like a bright halo of dreamland, as memory 
reverts to its old halls, its winding stairs, and intri- 
cate chambers. 

In 1841, after the removal of Mr. Meriwether 
and his new bride to the more imposing building 
on the hill, which was always called the "Big 
House," the old tavern was occupied by the Rev. 
E. Boyden, who had just come to the neighbor- 
hood as the rector of Walker's Church parish. 
He gave it the name of " Cottage Rectory," and 
in 1845 opened there a small school under the tu- 
telage of Mrs. Eleanor Richardson, of Richmond, 
Virginia, to whose gentle, patient, untiring efforts 
is due the transformation of the wild, unsophisti- 
cated boys and girls of that period into models 
of gentle men and women. Mr. Boyden also con- 
ducted quite a flourishing fruit nursery, introducing 
many new varieties of the apple, which have since 

become famous for this region. Thus with the 

114 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

" Rectory School" and its joyous band of youth, 
and the many visitors to the beloved pastor, made 
the " Cottage" home a continual scene of mirth 
and pleasure, notwithstanding that its walls were 
said to have been haunted^ and its many dark nooks 
and corners the abode of spooks and hobgoblins. 
This belief was doubtless from the fact of many 
deaths having occurred there, which superstition 
served a good purpose in governing wayward boys 
and girls, who would be threatened with the " dark 
closet." Among the many visitors to this happy 
circle was one eccentric genius, who always afforded 
much merriment ; this was George Jeffery, an Eng- 
lish teacher, engaged at Dr. Mann Page's school. 
He had decided merit, having attended Cambridge, 
in England, but his many antics and peculiarities 
gave the impression of his having been either a 
comic actor by profession or a crank of the first 
water. His chief forte was the singing of comic 
songs, accompanied by many gestures and contor- 
tions of countenance, which would keep his young 
audience in fits of laughter or exert real terror. 
On one occasion a servant-girl who was serving 
the table at which he sat laughed so much at 
his oddities that she went into convulsions and 
died. 

This remarkable character is mentioned in the 
" Page Genealogy ;" he was very irritable, getting 
into many scrapes, and soon after returned to Eng- 
land, much to the regret of the young people. In 
1849 ^^^ "Rectory School" was discontinued, and 
in 1850 Mr. Boyden moved to his new home 

"5 * 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

near the church. After this the old house went 
to decay, and in 1 860 was torn down. 

We will now turn again to the new Cismont 
mansion as it then stood. It was a plain, unpre- 
tending two-story house, having six rooms, with a 
hallway in the centre and a long portico in the 
rear ; around it were scattered the usual farm 
buildings, while the yard was filled with young 
elm- and cherry-trees, together with various kinds 
of shrubbery, many of which were brought from 
England. It was not its exterior surroundings 
which then gave such a charm and attraction to 
Cismont, but the genial, loving hearts of its master 
and mistress which was the magnet that drew so 
many to its doors. 

Mr. and Mrs. Meriwether were perhaps more 
widely known, loved, and respected than any two 
persons in the county. Both were young, with an 
extensive kindred and large acquaintance ; it was 
come and go at all times, and " Cousin Fanny" 
and " Cousin Peter" with everybody ; or even the 
more endearing titles of "Aunt" and " Uncle" or 
" Mother" and " Father" would be used by those 
who had been recipients of their loving-kindness. 
They were ever ready to open wide their doors for 
the young people to have a frolic ; he with his 
violin would add the charm of music, while she 
would set out the abundant stores of her larder. 
No wonder the house was always full ; no wonder 
the stranger as well as the kinsman would linger 
and be loath to step away from that charming 

spot ; and thus it would be for weeks at a time. 

116 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

But it was Christmas that the real merry-making 
began. Then the rolHcking and froHcking of 
the young people reached its cHmax, when young 
and old, white and black, had a real good time. 
Preparations would begin weeks beforehand, — the 
jellies, cakes, puddings, and pies would be piled in 
heaps in the cellar below ; the slaughtered fowls 
and meats were ready ; huge casks of cider and 
bins of luscious apples were in waiting ; and when 
at midnight of Christmas-eve the darkies would fire 
off the big log charged with powder, and blow the 
old ox-horn, and would raise a great shout, then 
every one knew that Christmas had come, and the 
fun would begin. The sun would hardly be above 
the horizon before neighbors would begin to pour 
in to greet " Cousin Fanny" and " Uncle Pete" 
with happy Christmas and to partake of eggnog 
and an early breakfast. The young boys and girls 
would also soon troop in with merry greetings, 
and then the old fiddle would be drawn forth and 
the dancing begin. These were the times when it 
was " open house, free and easy" to all, — the latch- 
string was always hanging out, the best of eating 
and drinking was on the outspread table, and roar- 
ing fires made the good cheer within. Around 
the festive board would frequently be gathered 
some of the most brilliant and happy spirits of 
the past, — the courteous William C. Rives, the 
sententious Franklin Minor, the always smiling 
F. K. Nelson, the benignant Rev. E. Boyden, the 
benevolent " Uncle" Jimmy Terrell, the blunt 

"Uncle Dick" Gambill, the hearty Dr. Tom 

117 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Meriwether, and the witty " Billy" Gilmer ; and 
here, too, would frequently be seen " Aunt Betsy" 
Meriwether and " Aunt Sue" Terrell," or graceful 
Mrs. J. P. Rives and her gentle sister, Mrs. Jane 
Page, or " Aunt" Sarah Gilmer and Mrs. A. M. 
Mead, and thus they would come and go, all 
welcomed and all made happy. But while the 
" old folks" are eating and cracking their jokes 
the young folks are tripping to Mr. Meriwether's 
violin accompanied by the piano. There they are, 
a merry crowd, — Stephen Sampson and William 
H. Fry (then young boys) are cutting the pigeon- 
wing and swinging around Sarah Campbell and 
Sally Watson ; Tom Randolph and Mary Walker, 
Bill Lewis and Fanny Campbell, George Geiger 
and Charlotte Meriwether, Fred Page and Ann 
Meriwether, and dozens of others, — there they all 
go in the merry dance, their voices ringing forth 
shouts of laughter. Nor do they stop until the 
smiling " Aunt Frances" steps in to announce 
supper, and then they scamper down the narrow 
stairway to the cellar below, the boys frequently 
squeezing the girls or taking a sly kiss on the 
way. And then the good things quickly disappear, 
when they again scamper back to have games, 
candy-pulling, and fortune-telling, and so the fun 
continues to a late hour of the night. Nor is the 
festivity and frolic confined to the " big house," 
for the negroes, little and big, are having a grand 
time, with plenty of hog meat and fat chittlings, 
sweet 'taters and 'tater pumpkin, flour cake and 
apple pies, rousing wood fires and no work, all in 

Ii8 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

sharp contrast to the present daily struggle under 
freedom. Such is a picture of the good old times 
at Cismont, a time the remembrance of which 
causes the heart to sigh as it exclaims, — 

** When I was young ? Ah, woful when ! 
Ah for the change 'twixt now and then !" 

Mr. Meriwether was a most peculiar man. He 
was a true type of Meriwether^ being firm of opin- 
ion, quick in judgment, bold and fearless in ex- 
pression. His habits, manners, and general ap- 
pearance would often mislead the casual observer as 
to his true nature. Being an intense Jeffersonian 
Democrat, he would, when twitted by his oppo- 
nents on his political heterodoxy, — his apostasy 
from the true Whig faith, his ugly locofocoism, — 
express his opinions most dogmatically, without 
regard to the niceties of diction and in language 
more forcible than elegant, and, like the great John 
Randolph, of Roanoke, when excited, would some- 
times inadvertently use the name of the Almighty 
irreverently ; but, like that great orator, he would 
feel deep humility for it afterwards. This erratic 
nature was only a flimsy cloak which hid one of 
the most large-hearted, generous, and tender dispo- 
sitions that could be found. Though stern and 
unyielding in the heat of argument, yet the next 
moment he would exhibit the tender, sympathetic 
feeling of a generous, loving heart. His care 
and affection for his slaves were intense. Hearing 
of the arrest and imprisonment of a favorite negro 

boy, under suspicion of robbery, though late at 

119 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

night, and during a blinding snow-storm, he rode 
to the jail, a distance of ten miles, and by his 
efforts had him acquitted. Upon reaching home 
with the lad behind him, the whole family, white 
and black, met him to know the result ; but Mr. 
Meriwether, with pent-up feelings of rejoicing, 
could only murmur, " Acquitted," and then both 
master and mistress, with all their blacks, burst 
into tears for joy. Here was a scene for the anti- 
slavery screechers. Mr. Meriwether was a firm 
believer in mesmerism, and his experiments in this 
mysterious art were the subject of much wonder 
and superstition, especially among the negroes, who 
would declare that " Mars Peter would mes'rize 
'em," which greatly served to keep them in strict 
obedience. But his neighbors and friends laughed 
at the theory and would not be convinced. Mr. 
Meriwether, however, determined to make a prac- 
tical test of the new science, and prove to his scep- 
tical friends that he was right. So, calling from 
the field, one day, a negro boy of fifteen years 
named Willis (who was perfectly ignorant of his 
master's intentions), he then made a private experi- 
ment in putting him under the mesmeric influence, 
and, to his great delight, quickly succeeded in 
having him under complete control. Being now 
fully convinced of the success of his theory, he 
invited his friends and neighbors to witness a per- 
formance in this mysterious art. The excitement 
and novelty of such a wonderful exhibition served 
to draw quite a large number of the more scientific 
and learned neighbors, among whom were Mr. and 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Mrs. William C. Rives, the grandparents of the 
authoress Amelie Rives, Dr. Thomas Meriwether, 
Mr. Francis K. Nelson, Mr. James Terrell, the 
Rev. E. Boyden, and many others. 

It did not take long for Mr. Meriwether to put 
the boy Willis under his influence, who followed 
his master into the crowded parlor with closed 
eyes, seeming oblivious to all present. After being 
securely blindfolded, so as to prevent any possi- 
ble deception, a number of interesting experiments 
were made to test the truth of his somnambulistic 
actions. First, Mrs. Rives brought forth several 
colored balls of worsted upon a waiter ; Mr. Meri- 
wether touched one of the balls, which were held 
behind his back, Willis at once told the color of 
the ball that was touched ; a number of glasses 
of water were then brought in, one of which Mr. 
Meriwether tasted, the boy, after tasting each one, 
told the right one ; a number of handkerchiefs 
from the company were thrown together, among 
which was Mr. Meriwether's ; after being well 
mixed and rolled together, Willis quickly undid 
the parcel and produced his master's handkerchief 
by smelling each one ; Mr. Meriwether then tasted 
some sugar, pepper, and salt, and in each case 
Willis told what he tasted ; when the pepper 
was tasted Willis began to spit and make a wry 
face, saying something burnt his tongue, though 
he had not touched the pepper. He was now 
told to bring his mistress from another room ; this 
he did, pulling her along with some force. He 
was then told to kiss his mistress ; this he also 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

attempted to do, much to the merriment of the 
company, until he was commanded to desist. He 
was then made to assume various positions, which 
his master would make behind his back. No one 
had any control of him except Mr. Meriwether, 
and he would not obey even his mistress, to whom 
he was always faithful and obedient ; it was thus 
conclusively proved that the boy Willis was en- 
tirely controlled by the will of his master, and 
was entirely unconscious of his own actions. At 
another time, Mr. Meriwether put a servant-girl of 
one of his neighbors under the mesmeric influence ; 
but in this case the girl could not be awakened 
afterwards, but continued to sleep for many days. 
It was found that she had concealed a tin box of 
trinkets in her bosom, which was considered the 
cause of this curious case. Mr. Meriwether would 
frequently mesmerize the hand of a young person, 
so that it could not be removed from a table. 
We give these experiments, as made by Mr. Meri- 
wether in 1847, ^^^^ the belief that they were the 
first in mesmerism ever successfully performed in 
Virginia. The boy Willis, now an old man, is 
still living in Charlottesville, and there are many 
persons who were witness to their performance 
who can also testify to them. 

Mr. Meriwether was a most judicious and suc- 
cessful farmer. He studied the old Farmers' 
Register of 1835 very closely, and was a firm 
disciple of that father of agriculture, Edmund 
Ruffin. The Cismont farm was very rich, much 
of it having been but recently cleared of the 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

original forests, and from the virgin soil teeming 
crops of corn, wheat, and tobacco would be pro- 
duced. Such was the quantity of hay that in 
1841 Mr. Meriwether delivered annually for sev- 
eral years more than twenty-five tons each year 
to the stage yards. A Northern gentleman about 
this time visited the farm, and, after viewing the 
droves of fat sheep and cattle, the sleek horses, the 
well-fed, happy negroes, and the great abundance 
on every hand, turned to Mr. Meriwether and said, 
" How is it, sir, that everything I see on your 
place is fat except yourself?" 

" Well, sir," replied Mr. Meriwether, " you will 
see my better half at the house." Mr. Meriwether 
was noted for being quite thin and his wife quite 
stout. 

It was also at this time that Miss Julia Willis, 
the sister of the celebrated author and poet N. P. 
Willis, of Boston, visited the place, bringing with 
her the prejudices of New England against negro 
slavery. She rode over the beautiful fields, saw 
the peaceful, contented slaves at their labor, swing- 
ing the cradle through the golden grain to the 
merry song and chorus of the reapers ; viewed 
their comfortable houses and the humane treat- 
ment by both master and mistress ; and then she 
wrote her people that " the slaves of Virginia 
were so only in name, and seemed more free and 
happy than many in New England." 

In 1847 ^^ house was greatly enlarged and 

improved by the addition of a rear wing. This 

made it more commodious ; but even with this 

123 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

enlargement it could scarcely accommodate the 
host of friends who continued to visit this home 
of magnificent hospitalities. The chief attraction 
here was the gentle, loving mistress. She was 
always the "good Samaritan," and responded to 
every appeal ; to her would go both young and 
old, rich and poor, who would pour into her sym- 
pathetic heart their love-scrapes, their troubles, 
their joys and sorrows, and " Cousin Fanny" was 
sure to solve each difficulty and bring the sunshine 
into every heart. 

During the exciting war period Cismont was 
frequently the scene of martial display. Here 
General James L, Kemper, the hero of Gettysburg, 
with his aides, would visit his family, who were 
here as refugees, and over the green lawn would 
bivouac his men ; or it would resound to the 
tramp and bugle-blast of the " Albemarle Light- 
Horse" cavalry when drilled by its gallant first 
lieutenant, George H. Geiger. 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Meriwether died from home, 
Mr. Meriwether in 1850 at the Hot Springs, Vir- 
ginia, and Mrs. Meriwether in 1883 at Clover 
Fields, the adjoining farm, in her eighty-fifi:h 
year. Cismont then passed into the possession 
of George G. Randolph, a descendant of the 
Meriwether family. After his death it was bought, 
in 1894, by its present owner. Colonel H. W. 
Fuller, of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, 
who obtained the mansion and four hundred acres 
surrounding it. 

Upon taking possession of this old homestead, 
124 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Colonel Fuller at once began its transformation 
into the beautiful modern structure which it now 
presents, and with that energy and executive ability 
which so characterize him, has changed the hills 
and dales and all the surroundings of old Cismont 
into visions of beauty and attractiveness, which at 
once arrests the traveller as it breaks into view 
from the public road. 

The cut which is given presents the building 
as it now appears, with its lofty columns, double 
porticos, and massive chimneys, which loom 
above the tree-tops, giving it quite a castellated 
appearance. The approach to the mansion is by 
a winding roadway through verdant fields and 
over rustic stone bridges, until, entering the wide- 
spread lawn of ten acres, dotted with stately oaks, 
«lms, and forest-trees, and enriched on all sides 
by highly-colored flowers and tropical plants, one 
feels that here is presented one of the most pic- 
turesque and idealistic spots, such as the combina- 
tion of nature and art can alone create into a truly 
•elysian home. 

One of the most unique and interesting objects at 
Cismont is the old kitchen, which is seen on the 
left; this building has a history in itself, and is 
now transformed into a museum of Colonial relics 
^nd souvenirs of the late war. The building once 
•stood on the mountain-side, but at the erection of 
the new mansion it was moved by Mr. Meriwether 
in 1835, and used as a kitchen, placing it about 
I fifty feet from the house, as was customary in those 
idays in always having the kitchen apart from the 

125 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

main dwelling. On one side was built a shed- 
room as sleeping apartment for the cook, while on 
the other side was a similar room, which was oc- 
cupied at one time by a poor white woman named 
Miss Lucy Duke, who came from Louisa County, 
and was employed by Mr. Meriwether as house- 
keeper until her death. She was supposed to be 
very poor, without friends, relatives, or means to 
support her ; but after her death it was found that 
she had six hundred dollars laid away in her little 
room. Immediately there sprang up many rela- 
tives to mourn her death and claim the money, but 
by her will she gave it all to Mr. Meriwether, who 
had befriended her for so many years. 

The old kitchen is preserved in the same primi- 
tive style as of Colonial times, with its rough- 
hewn timbers and wrought nails. Here is seen the 
wide hearth with its deep jambs and long crane, ; 
where all the meals were cooked for the planta- 
tion ; large logs of wood, four feet long, would be 
piled upon its immense andirons, upon which would 
be spread many ovens and kettles, while its large 
hearth would be covered with huge ash-cakes, to 
be baked on the hot bricks. 

"Aunt Nancy" was the presiding genius here, 
who held complete sway over this department, 
much to the terror of the young darkies ; but the 
writer can well remember her kind and generous 
heart, as being the recipient of many a good meal 
upon the old hearth. The room with its cup- 
boards and shelves is now adorned with many 

relics, — Indian pipes, old swords, knives and forks, 

126 



I 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

candlesticks, bits, keys, and bridles, all of a past age ; 
its furniture of antique chairs and tables date nearly 
a hundred years ; its walls are adorned with pictures 
of battle-fields and scenes along the Chesapeake 
and Ohio Railway, while huge Chinese lanterns and 
Japanese ware adorn the upper loft. Altogether, 
the old kitchen presents an inviting aspect, over 
the door of which is its motto, " Sans ceremonie." 
Here the pipe of peace can be smoked in luxuri- 
ant ease and abandon, with a drink of cider from 
the cupboard, or a draught of " malt and hops, 
which beat pills and drops," or, if to be preferred, 
" ash-cake and buttermilk," as in ye olden time. 

Here the colonel surrounds himself with his 
genial friends and entertains them with war stories 
or exciting railroad scenes, until the young blood 
boils with enthusiasm and breaks forth in merry 
song. 

Colonel H. W. Fuller is the son of David Fuller, 
of Massachusetts ; he was so named for his two 
uncles. David Fuller was a descendant of John 
Fuller, who is said to have emigrated to America 
in 1635, coming over with John Winthrop in the 
ship "Abigail," Hackwell, master, and settled in 
Cambridge village (now Newton) in 1644. From 
him sprang all the Fullers in this country. They 
were a bold, hardy set of men, persevering and 
energetic under difficulties, and these traits are still 
shown in their descendants. 

Colonel Fuller enlisted in the late war when 
quite young (only sixteen) and served with dis- 
tinction during the four years. He commanded 

127 



HISTORIC HOMES 

at first a company in one of the New York regi- 
ments and rose rapidly to the rank of colonel. 
He still preserves his well-worn sword upon many 
a hard-fought battle-field, and can relate some 
thrilling adventures. After the war Colonel Ful- 
ler came South and identified himself with the 
Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, since which time 
he has taken great interest in this Piedmont sec- 
tion and other parts of the State through which 
the road traverses, investing largely in its lands, 
and aiding in the development of the mineral and 
agricultural interests of the State. Colonel Fuller 
married Cora Johnson, the daughter of Thomas 
Johnson, Esq., of Virginia, who is of the same 
family as Senator Johnston, of Virginia, though 
the t in the name has been dropped. 

Two daughters have graced this beautiful home. 
The eldest, Nellie, married Mr. Talbot, of Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, but now of Washington City. 
The youngest, Lucille, with graceful form and 
sparkling eye, sheds a beam of radiant joy at the 
old homestead, filling its halls with mirth and 
music as of old. 



128 



2; JO 
o 

i " 

O- t/3 




CLOVER FIELDS 

THE OLD HOME OF THE MERIWETHERS 

BEYOND all doubt Clover Fields, the pres- 
ent country-seat of Mr. Frank M. Ran- 
dolph, which comes next to Cismont, is the 
oldest settlement along the South-West Moun- 
tains, and one of the few farms still held by 
the descendants of Colonel Nicholas Meriwether 
of Colonial fame, who by cunning craft so ingra- 
tiated himself into the good graces of his majesty 
George II. as to obtain his large grant of land, 
which embraced most of this beautiful section of 
Albemarle. As has been previously observed in 
our notice of Cismont, the Meriwethers are re- 
ported to be of Quaker origin, but we have reason 
to believe that these were but a small portion of 
the wide-spread English Meriwethers, who were 
chiefly of the Established Church, as we read of 
the Rev. Francis Meriwether, of Somerset County, 
who died in 1806, and of the Rev. J. Meriwether, 
who was chaplain to the Duchess of Clarence in 
1824. 

From old records we gather that Nicholas Meri- 
wether, the first of the family, was born in Wales, 
and died in England in 1678. It is doubted 
whether he ever came to America, though tradi- 
tion says he obtained a large grant of land from 
9 129 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Charles II. He had five sons, only three of whom, 
Nicholas, Francis, and David, are known to have 
come to America very early in its settlement. 
Of these three we will only regard more particu- 
larly the eldest, Nicholas (2d), as from him courses 
the Meriwether blood in nearly every prominent 
family of Virginia, either directly or by inter- 
marriage. 

This Nicholas (2d) is supposed to have come 
over previous to the year 1685, as Bishop Meade, 
in his " Old Churches," speaks of him as a vestry- 
man at St. Peter's Church, New Kent County, in 
that year. This is the Nicholas Meriwether who 
obtained his large grant of seventeen thousand 
nine hundred and fifty-two acres in 1730 from 
George II., which embraced all the lands lying 
along the South- West Mountains. This patent 
was signed by William Gooch, then governor 
of the colony, and is still preserved. This 
" Colonel" Nicholas (2d) married a Miss Craw- 
ford, daughter of David Crawford, Esq., of 
Assasquin, New Kent County, in 1744, and had 
nine children. The eldest, Jane, married Colonel 
Robert Lewis, of Belvoir, Albemarle County. 
This branch, which embraces most of the Lewis 
family, we will speak of more fully hereafter. 
The fifth son, David, married Anne Holmes, 
daughter of George Holmes, Esq., of King and 
Queen County, Virginia, and settled in Louisa 
County, inheriting a portion of his father's large 
estate. He died there December 25, 1744, and 

his wife died March 11,1 735. They had eight 

130 



U 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

children. The eldest, Thomas Meriwether, mar- 
ried Elizabeth Thornton, They had eleven chil- 
dren, — four sons and seven daughters. 

Nicholas Meriwether, the eldest son of Nicholas 
(2d), was born in 1736, and married Margaret 
Douglas, only daughter of the Rev. William Doug- 
las, of Louisa County, Virginia. This Nicholas, 
third in descent from the first Nicholas, inherited 
the most of his father's property in Albemarle, and 
after his marriage, in 1760, with Margaret Doug- 
las moved to the county, and settled at Clover 
Fields, building there one of the first houses erected 
along the mountains, the house at Castle Hill 
being also built about the same time. 

Here " Colonel Nick" Meriwether and Margaret 
Douglas lived and raised a family of six children ; 
first, William Douglas, who married Elizabeth 
Lewis in 1788 (she was the daughter of Nicholas 
Lewis and Mary Walker) ; he was always called 
"Captain Billy" and his wife "Aunt Betsy." 
They inherited, lived, and died at Clover Fields. 
The other sons of " Colonel Nick" were Thomas, 
who married Anne Minor, daughter of Garret 
Minor, of Louisa County. He lived with his 
grandfather, " Parson" Douglas, and became a 
most successful farmer. Nicholas Hunter married 
Rebecca Terrell. Charles married, first, Lydia 
Laurie ; second, Nancy Minor ; and, third, Mary 
D. Walton. Francis married Catherine Davis. 
Elizabeth, their only daughter, married Thomas 
Walker Lewis. 

" Captain Billy" and Elizabeth Lewis had seven 
131 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

children. The first two died young; his third 
son, WiUiam Hunter, commonly called " Billy 
Fish," married Frances Poindexter, and lived some 
time at the present Castalia farm, which was then 
a part of the Meriwether tract. It is said that 
this " Billy Fish" had a great penchant for build- 
ing mills. He built one at Clover Fields, the 
site of which is yet seen, also one which was 
located near the present woollen-mills near Char- 
lottesville ; he also built the first bridge across the 
Rivanna, where the railroad now crosses it, which 
was called " Meriwether's Bridge" ; but late in life 
he either traded or sold all of his mills and prop- 
erty in Virginia and moved to Texas, where he 
built more mills. 

The third son and seventh child of " Captain 
Billy" was Dr. Thomas Walker Meriwether, who 
was born in 1803 at Clover Fields, and died there 
in 1863. He married Anne Carter Nelson, and 
located at Kinloch, as we shall further note. Of 
the two daughters of " Captain Billy," Marga- 
ret Douglas (who was always called " Cousin 
Peggy") married, first, her cousin. Dr. Frank 
Thornton Meriwether, and second, Francis Kin- 
law Nelson, by whom no issue. Of her first mar- 
riage were two children, — Charles James, who 
married his cousin and settled in Bedford County, 
and Mary Walker Meriwether, who married Major 
Thomas Jefferson Randolph, eldest son of Colonel 
Thomas Jefferson Randolph, of Edgehill. Their 
children were Frank Meriwether Randolph, who 
married Charlotte N. Macon, Thomas Jefferson, 

132 



c < 

5"' ^ 




SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Margaret Douglas, Francis Nelson, and George 
Geiger. 

After the death of Mrs. Margaret Douglas Nel- 
son the Clover Fields estate went to her grandson, 
Frank M. Randolph, and his children, who now 
reside there, the ninth generation in descent from 
the first Nicholas Meriwether, 

The second daughter of " Captain Billy" and 
Elizabeth Lewis — Mary Walker, who was called 
" Polly" — married her cousin, Peter M. Meriwether, 
and lived at Cismont, as we have already shown 

We have now traced the family possession to, 
and will speak more fully of, the history past and 
present of this celebrated old homestead. 

We give a picture of the old mansion which 
sheltered so many generations of the sons and 
daughters of this truly great and extended family. 
It is vividly impressed on the memory of the 
writer as it looked in 1845, presenting the same pe- 
culiar types of architecture so often found belong- 
ing to the period 1 700, with its long, low porch in 
front, from the eaves of which rose a high, peaked 
roof, set off with small dormer-windows for its 
many narrow rooms above. Immense tall chim- 
neys towered above the tree-tops, around whose 
wide hearths had gathered many generations at 
happy reunions. The many out-buildings sur- 
rounding the mansion — kitchen, meat-house, dairy, 
stables, barns, mills, and numerous negro cabins — 
gave it the appearance of quite a village, which 
would be still further heightened by droves of 
horses, vehicles, and troops of negroes passing to 

133 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

and fro. Here in the long porch " Colonel Nick" 
would sit and entertain his numerous friends with 
his experience in the " Braddock war," and how 
he, with three others, bore the wounded and de- 
feated general from the battle-field ; and then would 
point with pride to the gold-laced embroidered coat 
sent him from Ireland by Braddock's sister, which 
for a long time hung in the Clover Fields parlor 
as a war relic ; and then " Aunt Peggy" would 
tell of her Scotch kindred, her home in the Old 
World, her youthful recollections of the voyage 
to America, and the exciting times of the Revo- 
lution. She would always have gathered around 
her troops of old and young to listen eagerly to 
these truthful stories. After this noble, kind- 
hearted couple passed away, being the last con- 
necting link between the " Colonial" and the 
" new nation," their places were taken by " Captain 
Billy" and "Aunt Betsy." He would sit in the 
same seat and tell of the war of 1812, while she 
with delight related anecdotes of her " Lewis" 
and " Walker" kin, whose prowess during that ex- 
citing war period has become a part of history. 
It is said that Clover Fields could show more 
old china, old furniture, old books, and other 
Colonial relics than any other place along the 
mountains ; many of these had been brought di- 
rect from England and Scotland by the Rev. Wil- 
liam Douglas, the grandfather of " Captain Billy," 
whose large and valuable library was once at 
Clover Fields, but which has since been scattered 
among his numerous descendants. " Aunt Betsy" 

134 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

would always with pride bring forth these family 
heirlooms and give their history, which would now 
be of priceless value to the antiquarian. 

" Colonel Nick" Meriwether was quite active 
and prominent in the church, being mentioned by 
Bishop Meade as a vestryman in 1762, in connec- 
tion with Thomas Jefferson, Dr. George Gilmer, 
and others in the establishment of old Walker's 
Church. His son, William D. Meriwether, was 
also added to the vestry in 1787. It was at this 
time that he and Mr. Jefferson were ordered by 
the vestry " to lay off two acres of land, including 
a space around Walker's Church," land which 
had been given to the parish by John Walker, 
of Belvoir. This makes us suppose that Captain 
William Meriwether was, like Jefferson, a skilled 
surveyor. This fact is also made more probable 
by an old copy of Gibson's " Surveying" of 1803, 
now in the hands of the writer, in which are the 
names of " Nicholas L. Meriwether, William and 
Mary College, 1 809," and " Charles J. Meriwether, 
1816," both of whom were sons of Captain Wil- 
liam D. Meriwether, who used it. Thus it is pre- 
sumed they all inherited a love for this science. 
Nicholas L., it is believed, died early. Charles J. 
Meriwether, his younger brother, outlived them all, 
and is still tresh in the remembrance of many now 
living. He bore strikingly the Meriwether char- 
acteristics of a generous, kind-hearted temperament, 
but with always decided opinions of his own upon 
every topic. He it was who came out upon the 
portico at Clover Fields, one day, during the civil 

135 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

war, as the " Yankees" rode up, and greeted them in 
his usual urbane and genial manner, thinking they 
were Confederate officers ; nor did he find out his 
mistake until they had relieved him of his hand- 
some gold watch and threatened to make him a 
prisoner. 

The old book of surveying mentioned had also 
the name of Thomas Lewis Meriwether, who 
was one of the sons of Thomas Meriwether and 
Anne Minor, of Louisa County, and who died 
in 1838, unmarried. The old book, from its 
well worn appearance, must have been often 
handled by Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis, and 
other noted surveyors of the time who visited 
"Captain Billy." 

Clover Fields, even at a very early period, be- 
came the rendezvous for the clergy, laity, profes- 
sional, and political men of the day, besides a vast 
kindred from all sections. No one bearing the 
name of Meriwether, Walker, or Lewis, or being 
of the most remote kin, could pass Clover Fields 
without a visit to " Captain Billy" and " Aunt 
Betsy," and partake of their bounteous hospitality ; 
even the stranger and wayfaring pilgrim were wel- 
comed, so that the old house was always filled 
with guests, who would often spend weeks at a 
time with them. 

After the death of William Douglas Meriwether 
and his wife, in 1845, the Clover Fields estate de- 
scended to his second daughter, Margaret Douglas 
Meriwether, who, with her second husband, Francis 

K. Nelson, lived and died there. It was about 

136 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

the year 1846 that the old Colonial house was 
removed to give place to the present modern 
structure, which was erected by Mr. Nelson, whose 
taste and culture were far in advance of his day. 

This spacious mansion, at the time of its com- 
pletion, exceeded any in the neighborhood for 
beauty and utility. Here, in more modern style, 
the hospitalities continued to be dispensed with a 
liberal hand, and " Cousin Peggy," like her great- 
grandmother, bestowed blessings upon all around 
her, such as never will be forgotten by those who 
were the fortunate recipients. Mr. Nelson was a 
most striking man, and one long to be remembered ; 
with a suaviter in modo et fortiter in re, combined 
with an exactness and neatness which were always 
shown, not only in person, but enforced in the 
more minute details of the farm, bearing always 
a pleasant, cheerful temperament, with fine con- 
versational powers, he made Clover Fields very 
attractive, and sustained the traditionary hospitality 
of his forefathers in an eminent degree. 

The Clover Fields farm has always been noted 
for its fertility and productiveness ; its waving 
fields of clover, fi-om which it derives its name ; its 
bounteous crops of wheat and tobacco, the latter 
of which was mostly sent to England ; its cele- 
brated garden, which always bore the earliest vege- 
tables in the neighborhood ; its lofty cherry-trees, 
from which many an urchin fell in his eager grasp 
for the luscious fruit ; its immense crop of apples ; 
its droves of fat sheep and cattle, like those of the 
celebrated Robert Blakewell, of England, which 

137 



HISTORIC HOMES 

were too dear for any one to purchase and too 
fat for any one to eat, — all these have rendered 
it famous, and won for it years ago the sobriquet 
of " Model Farm." 

One of the most interesting spots at Clover 
Fields is the family burying-lot, in one corner 
of the garden. Here on its many moss-covered 
tombstones can be read the names of most of the 
Meriwethers who have lived and died at this old 
place, dating back into the past century. Here 
sleep undisturbed on their native ground those 
noble men and women who lived in the exciting 
times of the Revolution and saw the wild country 
emerge into a " new nation," and, with hearts glow- 
ing with love and patriotism, gently sank to rest, 
beloved by all around them. Here are also gathered 
families and connections, and even many strangers 
who have sickened and died within the walls of 
the old house, until the little cemetery is com- 
pletely filled. It is now kept sacred, and forms 
a valuable guide-post to the historian in his search 
for the early characters in Virginia's history. 

Of late years Clover Fields has become a pleas- 
ant resort each summer for those who seek its 
cool mountain breezes, or love to roam over its 
picturesque hills and dales or secluded woodland 
retreats. Here one can tread the same spot where 
the wild Indian once made his tenting-ground, or 
can view the same landscape which broke upon 
the first settlers of Albemarle, and feel that he is 
indeed upon historic ground. 

138 



z > 




CASTALIA 

THE ESTATE OF MURRAY BOOCOCK, ESQ. 

CNIS ! How the name thrills the heart with 
patriotic emotions I What scenes of valor 
and deeds of daring does it recall as, like 
a brilliant picture, it speaks of the heroes of the 
past ! 

Next to that of Washington there is no name 
which stands forth more prominently upon the 
page of Virginia history than that of Lewis. Even 
from the first settlement of the infant colony we 
have General Robert Lewis, who landed on the 
shores of Virginia in 1 600 ; then Colonel John 
Lewis, of His Majesty's Council ; after whom came 
General Andrew Lewis, the bold frontier warrior, 
whose noble statue stands close to that of Wash- 
ington at Richmond, Virginia ; and then Robert 
Lewis, the intimate friend and secretary of Wash- 
ington ; and Colonel Fielding Lewis, who married 
the sister of Washington ; and Meriwether Lewis, 
the explorer of the West ; and many of the 
name who have graced our legislative halls even 
to the present day, all attest the fact that the 
name is the symbol for all that is noble, brave, 
and chivalrous. 

Before entering upon Castalia, a short genea- 
139 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

logical sketch of the family may not be inappro- 
priate. 

General Robert Lewis, the first of the family, 
was the son of Sir Edward Lewis, of Beacon, 
Wales, and was said to be descended from the 
Duke of Dorset. This first Robert Lewis received 
a grant from the Crown for thirty-three thousand 
three hundred and thirty-three and one-third acres 
of land in Gloucester County, Virginia, where 
he first located and built his celebrated mansion, 
Warner Hall, descriptions of which sound more 
like the baronial castles of England than the primi- 
tive dwellings of the colonists. It is here that he 
lived in such regal style. All the furnishings of 
the house and even luxuries for the table were 
wafted up the York River from across the Atlantic, 
that he might keep up the princely living as of the 
landed gentry in the mother country. 

John Lewis, the eldest son of Robert, was sent 
to England to be educated, and while there mar- 
ried Isabella Warner, a great heiress and sister of 
the famous Speaker Warner, of Virginia. 

This son John (ist) had also a son named 
John (2d), who married Elizabeth, the youngest 
daughter of Speaker Warner. Their son John 
(3d) married Frances Fielding, and inherited 
Warner Hall, with all its silver plate, pictures, 
and jewels. 

John (2d) and Elizabeth Warner had a son, 
Robert, who married Jane Meriwether, the daugh- 
ter of Colonel Nicholas Meriwether, who obtained 

his large grant in Albemarle in 1730. This Rob- 

140 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

ert, who was a colonel in the Revolutionary war, 
after his marriage moved and settled at Bel voir, 
in Albemarle, being a part of his father-in-law's 
large estate. Colonel Robert Lewis had a son, 
Nicholas, who married Mary Walker, the daugh- 
ter of Dr. Thomas Walker, of Castle Hill ; they 
lived on a fine plantation near Charlottesville, 
Virginia, called The Farm, which we shall note 
hereafter. Their son, Thomas Walker Lewis, 
married Elizabeth Meriwether, sister of " Cap- 
tain Billy" Meriwether, of Clover Fields. They 
lived at Locust Grove, which was a part of 
The Farm ; it was here that their son, Robert 
W. Lewis, was born in 1808. This Robert (who 
was second cousin of Captain Robert Lewis, 
Washington's secretary) afterwards became the 
owner of Castalia, but only by purchase rather 
than by inheritance, to which he was entitled 
through his mother, who was the daughter of Col- 
onel Nicholas Meriwether and Margaret Douglas, 
of Clover Fields. 

The Castalia farm, lying between Clover Fields 
and Belvoir, containing about one thousand acres, 
was a part of the Meriwether grant gained by 
the first Nicholas Meriwether in 1730, during the 
reign of George II., the patent being signed by 
William Gooch, then governor of the colony. 
Warner Lewis, of Warner Hall, a nephew of 
Colonel Robert Lewis, of Belvoir, had already 
married the daughter-in-law of Governor Gooch, 
and doubtless was influential in gaining this large 

grant. 

141 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

To what limits this large body of land extended 
over the county is not known, though it must have 
embraced most of its entire area. Think of these 
two landed nabobs — Colonel Robert Lewis, with 
his thirty-three thousand three hundred and thirty- 
three and one-third acres, and Colonel Nicholas 
(id) Meriwether, with nearly twenty thousand 
acres — owning almost two counties of Virginia ! 

The first to live at Castalia is said to have 
been an old negro named " Jack," whose cabin 
stood near the present spring from which flows a 
bold stream through the plantation, which is still 
known as "Jack's Branch." 

The first habitable building of any size was built 
in 1747 by "Colonel Nick" Meriwether before 
going to Clover Fields. This was only a double 
log cabin, perched near the old spring, and sur- 
rounded by a grove of oaks ; it is still standing, 
showing a wonderful state of preservation. " Cap- 
tain Billy" Meriwether, who inherited all of these 
lands, gave Castalia to his son, William Hunter, 
known as " Billy Fish," who married Miss Poin- 
dexter. He lived in the old log cabin for some 
time, adding to it the framed part at the rear, 
and was the first to give it the classical name of 
Castalia, for the celebrated mythological foun- 
tain on Mount Parnassus, sacred to Apollo and 
the Muses, of which " Billy" imagined his spring 
at the foot of the mountain to be typical. 

After the death of " Billy Fish," his widow sold 

the farm to John H. Craven, of Pen Park, who 

gave it afterwards to his son William somewhere 

142 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

in the thirties. Robert W. Lewis, of Locust 
Grove, had married Sally Craven, daughter of the 
late P. H. Craven. They continued to hve there 
until 1833, when he moved to his patrimony, 
Piedmont, across the river, the present farm of 
Mr. Triplett Haxall, who bought it of the late 
Richard O'Mohundro. 

After living there for thirteen years, Mr. Lewis 
exchanged the farm for Castalia, giving William 
Craven three thousand dollars to boot. Thus we 
see how the Castalia farm again came into the 
possession of the Lewises. 

For a number of years Mr. Lewis occupied the 
old log cabin, which had been just previous to his 
taking possession rented by Mr. Peter Cobbs, the 
father of the present Mrs. John C. Patterson, of 
Charlottesville. This good old gentleman had 
many peculiarities, one of which was always wear- 
ing his hat in the house. He had once been a 
teacher, and was fond of asking young people in- 
tricate questions upon their studies, which would 
often puzzle children of a larger growth. 

In 1850, Mr. Lewis erected the present commo- 
dious building which adorns the neighborhood. 
At that time the forests had remained almost un- 
touched of their original growth, and it is said that 
Mr. Lewis marked each tree to be used for his 
house, picking only the finest and best. It was 
a little before the days of planing-mills, so each 
piece had to be dressed by hand, which was slow 
and tedious ; the brick were made upon the spot 
by his own slaves, and within a year's time there 

143 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

arose the present large structure, a monument to 
his skill and careful supervision. 

In 1853, ^^- Lewis opened a small school, more 
particularly for the education of his own children. 
For this purpose he employed a most accomplished 
English lady. The school was limited to ten, but 
more than that number of happy, joyous girls 
usually filled the house, making it a scene of con- 
stant fun and frolic. " Cousin Sally Bob," as she 
was always called, was ever ready to enter into the 
frolics of the girls and see that they had a " good 
time." The young bloods of the neighborhood 
would therefore always be encouraged, and would 
often make night hideous with banjo and fiddle in 
their serenades, which would be sure to end in an 
invitation to a big supper and a dance with the girls. 

On one occasion one of these gallants (now a 
dignified alderman) wished to play a quiet game 
of chess with the captive of his heart while the 
family were away, hoping thereby to make a con- 
quest. " Cousin Sally," who was in the scheme, 
cautioned her " old man Bob" to leave the young 
couple to themselves, while she took the rest of 
the girls to a party ; but Mr. Lewis became so 
interested in the game that he forgot the admoni- 
tion, and was a close observer the entire evening, 
thereby preventing what might have been a union 
of hearts and hands. 

Such were the attractions of Castalia that it was 

styled the " Home of the Graces" ; but its happy 

band of girls was soon after scattered, each to 

grace a home of her own. 

144 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

On the 25th of May, 1877, ^^^ head of this 
happy home died, and was buried beside his be- 
loved wife, in the rear of the old log cabin where 
they had lived so long humbly and contentedly. 

Robert W. Lewis was no ordinary man. Few 
could fail to be impressed by his tall, erect figure, 
his open and benevolent countenance, his warm 
grasp of the hand, and hearty voice as he welcomed 
all who honored him with a visit. He exhibited 
in a striking degree the Lewis traits, true repub- 
lican simplicity, natural and unassumed ; his dress 
of plain homespun, his extreme love of truth and 
honesty, causing him to abhor all shams or pre- 
tence. Being reticent and slow of speech, he 
retired from all argument or political strife, and 
yet ever ready to give a clear and decided opinion 
on every topic when the occasion required. His 
powerful frame and great courage often made him 
a terror to evil-doers around him. On one occasion, 
while at Piedmont, his father-in-law had a quan- 
tity of grain stolen by some boatmen from Milton ; 
learning that these men, who were powerfully-built 
fellows, had the wheat on their boat and were 
leaving for Richmond, Mr. Lewis at once gave 
chase, overtook the boat, boarded it by some ruse, 
where he found the wheat, which they could not 
account for ; he then single-handed pitched the 
men overboard and brought the boat back to 
Pen Park. 

Such is an imperfect sketch of this true Virginia 
gentleman, whose many sterling qualities made him 
a fit representative of the noble family of Lewis. 
10 145 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Of his sons and daughters, George, the eldest, 
was accidentally killed while hunting, May 22, 
1855. Robert Walker married Elizabeth, daugh- 
ter of Dr. James Minor, of Music Hall, and lives 
in Richmond. Thomas Walker married Jane, 
daughter of Frederick W. Page, librarian of the 
University of Virginia, and lives on a portion 
of Castalia farm. John married Miss Austin, and 
lives in Albemarle. Elizabeth married Mr. John 
Hamilton, of Charlottesville, Virginia. Alice mar- 
ried her cousin, James T. Lewis, who mounted 
his horse and joined the Confederate army an hour 
after the ceremony was performed, in 1861 ; they 
are both dead. Ellen married A. J. Smith, who 
lives in Fauquier County, Virginia. Margaret 
married Eugene Sampson ; and Lydia, the young- 
est, married Henry Lewis Smith, of Smithfield, 
West Virginia. 

In 1881 Castalia was sold to Mr. Bartlett Boil- 
ing, of Petersburg, Virginia, who made many im- 
provements which added greatly to its appear- 
ance. In the spring of 1894 it was sold to Mr. 
Murray Boocock, of New York City, its present 
owner. 

This gentleman, having travelled over Europe 
as well as this country, was attracted, while passing 
through the Southern States, by this beautiful sec- 
tion of Virginia, as possessing more advantages than 
any he had met with in the South. Here he found 
among these picturesque hills a fertile soil, a genial 
atmosphere, and a refined people, the descendants 

of a once proud and noble aristocracy. 

146 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Castalia has fallen into no mean hands, but, 
like those who once occupied it, can also boast 
of a lineage that touches the Georges of England, 
and whose patriotic ancestry have marched to the 
slogan of '76. 

Mr. Boocock is the son of Samuel Ward Boo- 
cock, Esq., who has long been one of the promi- 
nent residents of Brooklyn, living on its historic 
Heights. He is connected with many of the lead- 
ing institutions of Brooklyn, and also occupies a 
foremost position among the bankers of New York. 
Mr. Samuel W. Boocock married Mary C. Under- 
bill, the daughter of Elias Underbill, who married 
Jane C. Carpenter. Mr. Murray Boocock is there- 
fore descended on his maternal side from one of the 
most illustrious families in this country. We find 
in 1416 that Captain John Underbill, commonly 
called Lord Underbill, and Agnes, his wife, were 
seated at Cunningham in Warwickshire, and in 
1587 occurs the name of Sir Hercules Underbill, 
Knight and High Sheriff of the County. The noted 
Edward Underbill, one of Queen Mary's band of 
gentlemen pensioners in 1558, was also a member 
of the family. Captain John Underbill was a dis- 
tinguished officer in the British army, who bad 
served with great distinction in Ireland and Cadiz. 
He emigrated to America in 1632 and settled at 
Kenelworth, Oyster Bay, Long Island. Much of 
interest concerning this Captain John Underbill, 
who was very prominent in the early history of 
New England and New York, could be given did 
space permit. An account of bis many exploits 

»47 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

and other interesting information can be found 
in a volume called the "Algerine Captive," from 
the pen of a descendant, John Underhill, of New 
York. 

Nathaniel Underhill, the younger son of Captain 
John, moved to Westchester, and bought lands 
of John Turner in 1687. He married Mary Fer- 
ris, a descendant of the great Ferris family of 
Leicestershire, England, who are said to have ob- 
tained large grants of land from William the 
Conqueror. Their son Abraham married Hannah 
Cromwell, and their son Abraham (2d) married, 
first, Phoebe Hallock, and second, Kesiah Farring- 
ton. The son of this second marriage, Solomon 
Underhill, of Sing Sing, married Phoebe Concklin, 
and their son Townsend married Emily Smith. 
He died in 1817, leaving one son, Elias Underhill, 
who married Jane C, Carpenter ; these two are 
the grandparents of Mr. Murray Boocock, of Cas- 
talia. A great shadow fell upon the community 
of Brooklyn Heights, May, 1896, by the death 
of Mrs. Samuel Ward Boocock. She was one of 
the most esteemed and charming women who 
figured in its social life. Mrs. Boocock was ad- 
mired and esteemed by all who knew her for her 
great tact, kindliness, and unobtrusive generosity. 
She was always active in charitable and philan- 
thropic enterprises, and will be greatly missed by 
all with whom she was associated. 

In the spring of 1894, Mr. Boocock married 
Miss Ada Miriam Dike, daughter of the late 
Camden C. Dike, of Brooklyn. Mr. Dike was 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

born in Providence, Rhode Island, September 18, 
1 832, and died quite suddenly of pneumonia, Oc- 
tober 11, 1 894, at Point Pleasant, New Jersey. 
For thirty-six years he was engaged in the wool 
business under the firm of " Dike Brothers." He 
was also quite prominent in the business circles of 
New York and Brooklyn, being trustee for South 
Brooklyn Savings Bank and other institutions. 
He was also a member of the Chamber of Com- 
merce, and president of the Apollo Club. 

Mr. Dike married Miss Jennie Staunton Scott, 
granddaughter of Major-General Phineas Staun- 
ton, who was so prominent in the war of 1812. 
She is also closely connected with the family of 
General Winfield Scott, Colonel John Scott of the 
Confederate war being also a near relative. 

Mr. and Mrs. Dike also lived on the beautiful 
Heights of Brooklyn, so long noted for its hand- 
some residences and refined, cultivated society, 
composed as it is of many of the oldest families 
in the State. 

Let us now glance at the new Castalia, seated 
at the foot of the Albemarle " Mount Parnassus," 
near the clear Castalian spring, which still sends 
forth its invigorating waters as of old, changing 
those who partake of them into modern CasialUes, 
since those who have here dwelt have always ex- 
hibited the poetry of thought and motion. 

The top of the stately mansion can scarcely be 
seen from the entrance to the grounds, nearly a 
mile distant ; but as we reach a commanding sum- 
mit it breaks upon the view in all its grandeur and 

149 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

beauty. Seated amid a dense grove of trees, its 
balustrades and lofty chimneys tower above the 
tree-tops, while through the dense foliage can be 
seen its many windows and tall columns of the 
portico. The picture is still more heightened by 
an expansive lawn, with luxuriant orchards and 
gardens on each side, while in the background 
rises the majestic mountain, which gives to the 
whole a grand and impressive scene. i 

As we enter this handsome home of English | 
type we are at once removed a century in time, j 
To one side of the spacious hall stands a " grand- i 
father's" clock, whose sonorous tones give a sad- ^ 
dened pleasure as it marks the flight of time. I 
The walls, like those of the baronets, are adorned j 
with trophies of the chase, one of which is a fine 
specimen of the head and antlers of a caribou or 
moose deer of Maine, which is now nearly extinct. 
Sketches in nature also adorn its walls, while stately 
palms and towering plants make it a veritable salle 
de verdure. Turning to the drawing-room, we 
enter truly a salon d'art., where one can feast the 
eye. Here are choice scenes from Shakespeare 
by the celebrated John and Josiah Boydell, as 
found in the Shakespearian Gallery at Pall Mall, 
1793. This John Boydell was famous in the ) 
graphic art. He was lord mayor of London, and 
died in 1804. Mr. Boocock has the only two of 
his works now in this country. Two fine engrav- 
ings printed on satin, the " King's Favorite" and | 
" Rubens the Artist," from the Vanderbilt coUec- 1 
tion in New York, are also worthy of admiration. ^ 

150 ' 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

An exquisite oil-painting upon silk tapestry from 
Paris of Bougereau's " Cupid and Psyche" ; a fine 
engraving on wood is shown of the " Dying 
Lion," being an exact copy as cut in the solid 
rock at Geneva. Many other delicate etchings 
are among this rare collection, which Mr. Boocock 
has secured at great expense. Then the many 
curios and bric-a-brac from foreign lands will cap- 
tivate the visitor ; but the most to be admired is 
a solid silver flagon, eighteen inches high, having 
rich carvings of Indian scenery. This was one 
of the exhibits at the Columbian Exposition at 
Chicago, 1893, sent from India. It was presented 
to Mr. and Mrs. Boocock as a wedding-present. 

The entire Castalia mansion is furnished in 
antique oak of the past century, and each of its 
many bedrooms are in a different color, with 
draperies and curtains to match. Hot and cold 
water is conveyed over the whole house from an 
immense tank in the roof; and beside its many 
fireplaces, it is heated also by a furnace below. 
It is difficult to conceive of a more complete and 
elegant country residence, one such, indeed, as 
would fittingly adorn any city. 

Of late, Mr. Boocock has turned his attention 
to the development of a higher grade of cattle in 
Virginia ; for this purpose he has imported a thor- 
oughbred Hereford bull, Salisbury, from the herd 
of John Price, Court-House, Pembridge, England, 
at a cost of three thousand dollars, together with 
his mate. Curly Lady, besides several cows of the 
same breed. These have recently taken the cham- 

151 



HISTORIC HOMES 

pion winnings at the State fairs of New Jersey, 
Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland. Mr. Boo- 
cock has also purchased several more of the same 
breed from the West, and now has a herd of 
fifteen or twenty of these fine cattle, which present 
a beautiful sight as they roam over the green 
meadows of Castalia like a troop of uniformed 
cavalry, all bearing the same striking marks of 
white head and red body. 

Thus Mr. Boocock is doing a grand service 
for the stockmen of the South ; and this public- 
spirited gentleman should be sustained in his noble 
work, which we are glad to learn is meeting with 
marked success, and will eventually become a lead- 
ing enterprise in the State. 

The visitor to Castalia will now find it like a 
bit of old England dropped into the lap of Vir- 
ginia, having all the appointments of a large first- 
class stock farm, which will give delight to every 
lover of fine cattle ; but more especially it is 
gratifying to see this old homestead so beautifully 
perpetuated, retaining its old log cabin and famous 
spring, which, with its many associations of the 
past, will always make it dear to the dwellers 
along the South- West Mountains. 



152 



MUSIC HALL 

HOME OF THE LATE CAPTAIN JAMES TERRELL 

THIS old home, so well remembered as the 
place where music, joy, and mirth were 
wont to dwell, as its name indicates, lies 
contiguous to Castalia, and once formed a part of 
the Clover Fields estate. 

Some ten years after the death of her husband, 
Colonel Nicholas Meriwether, Margaret Douglas, 
his widow, married, February 20, 1783, Chiles 
Terrell. 

" Parson" Douglas, of Louisa, her father, some- 
times wrote the name " Tyrrell," " Tyrel," or " Ter- 
rell," all of which were of Scotch origin. After 
their marriage they moved and settled upon this 
portion of the Meriwether grant, which was re- 
tained by the widow of Nicholas Meriwether, and 
consisted of about twelve hundred acres, begin- 
ning at the top of the mountain and reaching to 
the Machunk Creek, the road which passes over 
Broadhead's Gap to Stony Point being the division- 
line with the Belvoir estate. 

Chiles Terrell must have erected the first house 
at Music Hall, which was quite a plain framed 
building. Mrs. Margaret Terrell brought many 
of the trophies and relics of her husband with 
her to Music Hall, and for some time the old 

153 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

musket that " Colonel Nick" Meriwether used in 
the Braddock war was seen there hanging on the 
wall. By their marriage was one son, James 
Hunter Terrell, who was born there September 8, 
1784, and after the death of his parents succeeded 
to the Music Hall estate. His mother, Mar- 
garet Douglas Terrell, died at Clover Fields, the 
residence then of her eldest son. Captain William 
Douglas Meriwether, September 25, 1812. Her 
son, James Hunter Terrell, married a Northern 
lady, Mrs. Susan Townley nee Vibert, of Lynn, 
Massachusetts. They had no children, but made 
their home very happy for others, always having 
several nephews and nieces staying with them, 
who were very musical. " Uncle Jimmy," as he 
was universally called, was also passionately fond 
of music, and was quite a musician himself, play- 
ing upon several instruments, hence he named his 
home Music Hall, as it always resounded to sweet 
strains and the joyful mirth of youth. Captain 
Terrell was an officer in the war of 1812, and 
was also quite prominent in the county. He 
is mentioned by Bishop Meade as one of a com- 
mittee to build the new Grace Church. 

About 1845, Captain Terrell and his wife made 
a trip to Massachusetts to see her relations. A 
lady friend who accompanied them wrote a most 
amusing and interesting account of the trip, de- 
scribing the wonder and astonishment of these 
good, simple-hearted old people at the many sights 
they saw in the more advanced part of the Union. 
" Uncle Jimmy," however, was quite restless, and 

154 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

expressed himself as being very glad to get back 
safely to his old home after his venture upon such 
a long trip by steam, being the first time he ever 
rode on the cars. 

Such was his kind-heartedness and deep sense of 
feeling upon the slavery question, that by his will 
Captain Terrell liberated all of his slaves, eighty- 
three in number, and devoted his entire Ducking- 
hole estate in Louisa, inherited from his grand- 
father. Rev. William Douglas, to settling them in 
Liberia, and in the spring of 1847 these negroes 
were sent there under the auspices of the " Ameri- 
can Colonization Society." This number included 
a few who were bought or given, that they might 
not be separated from their husbands or wives. 
They had a splendid outfit, a free passage, and 
about three hundred dollars each in money. The 
writer remembers the departure of these negroes, 
many of whom were presented with woollen gloves 
and thick, heavy clothing, blankets, etc., for their 
tropical home. 

Besides owning the Music Hall estate. Captain 
Terrell had two hundred or more acres of wood- 
land beyond the Machunk, called Clarke's tract, 
besides inheriting the old homestead in Louisa, 
Duckinghole, which was the residence of his grand- 
father, Rev. William Douglas, of Colonial fame. 
This celebrated farm was not far from Louisa 
Court-House, and was considered one of the richest 
sections of the county. It contained about seven 
hundred and ninety-six acres, which were bought 
by Mr. Douglas of John Symms in 1770. Mr. 

»55 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Douglas owned also large bodies of land, more than 
eleven hundred acres in Goochland County, which 
was a part of the Cocke estate, bought under the 
Crown from Governor Spotswood in 1714. This 
land Mr. Douglas gave to his other grandson, 
Thomas Meriwether, who lived with him, as by 
deed dated 1777. As an item of interest, this 
Cocke tract of two thousand four hundred and 
ninety-seven acres, lying mostly on James River, 
was purchased for twelve pounds ten shillings 
(about sixty-five dollars). The Rev. William 
Douglas, the grandfather of Captain Terrell, was 
a most learned divine of the Established Church 
of England, where he was ordained in 1751. He 
was a Scotchman, and was educated for the min- 
istry at Edinburgh. He and his family were 
loyal to the Crown, and did not readily swear 
allegiance to the colonies ; but it was either this 
or lose by confiscation his large property. After- 
wards he became very zealous in establishing the 
church upon the order of State government. He 
had an extensive and valuable library brought 
from Scotland in 1751, and perhaps one of the 
best in the country at that time. Many of his 
books have been eagerly sought for and are widely 
scattered over the country. Mr. Douglas was a 
teacher of note. Among his pupils were Jefferson, 
Madison, Wirt, Monroe, and other noted Southern 
statesmen. He married, in 1735, Miss Nicholas 
Hunter, niece of Dr. John Hunter, of Edinburgh, 
so celebrated a hundred years ago. 

This Dr. Hunter had also a son, Dr. John 
156 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Hunter, who came to Virginia about 1759, settled 
in Louisa County, and had a large practice in 
the surrounding counties. Among the long list of 
his patients, as left by his executor, Rev. William 
Douglas, we find the name of Sir William Berkeley, 
governor of the colony, for a medical bill of twelve 
pounds. Dr. Hunter died in 1762, leaving many 
descendants. Thus we see how the name of Hunter 
enters so largely into the Meriwether, Lewis, and 
Terrell families. 

At the death of Captain Terrell, in 1856, the 
Music Hall mansion and six hundred acres of 
land were left to his great-nephew and namesake. 
Dr. James Hunter Minor, whom he had adopted. 
The lower part of the Music Hall tract and the 
land beyond the creek, making about eight hun- 
dred acres, were left to his wife's niece, Sarah Stran- 
ford, who married Howell Lewis, the grandson of 
Colonel Charles Lewis, who was the son of Colo- 
nel Robert Lewis, of Belvoir, who gave this son 
thirteen hundred and thirty-four acres of land in 
North Garden, Albemarle. Mr. Howell Lewis's 
father was the eldest son of this Colonel Charles, 
and was named Howell ; he lived and died at 
North Garden. Mr. Howell Lewis and his wife, 
Sarah S. Lewis, lived to a good old age on the 
Creek farm, where they died. 

Dr. Minor greatly added to and improved the 
Music Hall mansion ; indeed, pulling most of it 
down and building it entirely anew, the rear part 
being all that is left of the original. It continued 
to be a most charming place to visit, the sons and 

157 



HISTORIC HOMES 

daughters of Dr. Minor, with those of Howell 
Lewis, of the " Creek," inheriting much of the 
musical talent of their uncle, filling its new halls 
with sweet strains and pleasant scenes as of old. 

Dr. Minor died in 1862, after which Music 
Hall was bought by its present owner, Mr. Grif- 
fith, an English gentleman, who has made further 
improvements to the building and planted a large 
portion of the farm in fruit. 

The venerable Captain Terrell and his wife lie 
in the little garden of their old home, and, as the 
talented author of the " Meriwether Genealogy" 
says, " The Beatitude used as an epitaph on a joint 
monument, erected to their memory in the garden 
at Music Hall by one of the nephews who found 
in them a father and mother, was never more fitly 
used than in this instance, ' Blessed are the merciful, 
for they shall obtain mercy.' " Dr. James Hunter 
Minor was the son of Samuel Overton Minor, who 
died in Missouri. He was highly educated as a 
physician, but did not practise his profession after 
coming to Music Hall, devoting most of his time 
to agriculture. In 1843 ^^ married Miss Mary 
W. Morris, of the Green Springs, Virginia. Of 
their marriage were : 

1. James Hunter Minor; married Ida Lake. 

2. Elizabeth Minor; married Robert W.Lewis, of Cas- 

talia, now of Rictimond, Virginia. 

3. William Overton Minor; married Miss Clarke, of Cali- 

fornia. He was circuit judge in California. 

4. Thomas S. Minor ; merchant of Charlottesville, Virginia. 

5. Rachel C. Minor. 

6. Anne Laurie Minor ; died young. 

158 



BELVOIR 

THE HOME OF THE NELSONS 

IN our several sketches of the noted homesteads 
of this Piedmont region, famous as having been 
the country-seats of noble men and women 
of the past, we cannot omit to speak more mi- 
nutely of Belvoir, of which mention has frequently 
been made in these pages, though its famous old 
mansion, which sheltered so many of Virginia's 
statesmen, has long since disappeared, its site being 
scarcely identified. A complete history of the 
place would take us back to a very early period, 
almost to the first settlement of the county, as we 
find it mentioned about the year 1700, at which 
time Colonel Robert Lewis moved from New 
Kent County after his marriage with Jane Meri- 
wether and located on this part of the Meri- 
wether tract. 

The exact location of the first Belvoir house, 
as built by Colonel Robert Lewis, is not known ; 
the " Page Genealogy" states, " The remains of the 
old Lewis family burying-ground were for a long 
time to be seen, but nearer the mountain than the 
house built by Colonel John Walker." Doubt- 
less it was upon one of the higher slopes of the 
mountain, hence its name " Belle Voir" (beautiful 
to see). Colonel Lewis came into a large portion 

»59 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

of the Nicholas Meriwether estate by marriage with 
his eldest daughter. He was a prominent officer 
in the Revolution, and was also in the House 
of Burgesses. After the death of Colonel Lewis, 
in 1744, he left his home-place, Belvoir, to his 
second son, Colonel Nicholas Lewis, who had 
married the eldest daughter of Dr. Thomas Walker, 
of Castle Hill. But we find that some time 
during the Revolution this Nicholas Lewis ex- 
changed lands with John Walker, the eldest son 
of Dr. Tom Walker, and moved to The Farm, 
near Charlottesville, where he died. Colonel John 
Walker, however, did not live in the old Lewis 
house under the mountain, which was probably a 
very rude log affair, but built his first house on the 
level plain near the present residence of Mr. Long- 
iield, and not far from old Walker's Church, 
which was so called by his name, he having given 
the land upon which it stood, and which was sur- 
veyed by Peter Jefferson, the father of President 
Thomas Jefferson. The first house that Colonel 
Walker built was a framed one of the old-fashioned 
type. We give the following interesting account of 
it as taken from the " Page" book : " Hon. Colonel 
John Walker married Elizabeth Moore in 1764, 
and it was about that time that he built his first 
house. This house was taken down when the 
second house was built and moved to Milton, on 
the Rivanna River, Albemarle County, Virginia. It 
was afterwards moved to its present location near 
Cobham, same county, and is the same that was 
occupied by Howell Lewis. The second house 

160 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

was built in 1790. This was destroyed by fire in 
the autumn of 1836. It was thought that the fire 
was occasioned by a defective flue (loose mortar 
in the chimney) in the garret, as it was first dis- 
covered at that point adjoining the south-west 
chimney. There were four rooms on the first 
floor and three rooms up-stairs on the second floor. 
Above this was a very large garret. About fifty 
yards north-east from the house was the kitchen, 
and at the same distance south-west was an out- 
house or office. Still farther south-west were sta- 
bles near the mountain road. Just in rear of the 
house was an ornamental garden, and behind this 
was the kitchen-garden. At the north corner was 
a lot planted in fine trees and shrubs, and at the 
northern extremity of the latter was the cemetery. 
The road, with magnificent oaks and poplars on 
each side, wound gracefully along from the house 
to the public highway that runs between Gor- 
donsville and Charlottesville, and entered it a little 
east of a point opposite old Walker's (now Grace) 
Church." The first house of Colonel Walker, 
which it speaks of as having been moved to Mil- 
ton, where Hon. Francis Walker once lived, is 
still standing on the old Creek farm near the 
Machunk Creek, where the late Howell Lewis 
lived. As an interesting incident connected with 
it there was, and may possibly be still seen, on 
some of the panes of glass in the windows, cut 
with a diamond, the names of " Elizabeth Moore" 
and " Ann Kinlock" ; the former being the name 
of Colonel Walker's wife and the latter the name 
II 161 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

of his only daughter. It is remarkable that 
through all the movings of the old building these 
panes should have remained unbroken over ninety 
years. 

The beautiful grove and avenue of forest-trees 
spoken of, stretching from the Belvoir house to 
the church, were in after-years cut down and the 
entire field put in tobacco by Dr. Tom Meriwether, 
who had inherited three hundred and fifty acres 
of the Belvoir tract through his wife. The Hon. 
William C. Rives, while riding by and seeing the 
destruction, said jocularly, " Dr. Tom ought to 
have left one tree on which to hang himself for 
such a ruthless act." 

Colonel John Walker was a very prominent 
man during the Revolution. He was the confi- 
dential aide to General Washington, and after- 
wards Senator in the United States Congress from 
Virginia in 1790. Such was his great activity in 
all revolutionary measures that he was an especial 
object of capture by Tarleton in his memorable 
raid, one half of his forces going to Belvoir 
and the other seeking Castle Hill on their way 
to Monticello, but the illustrious game was not 
found at Belvoir. In a private letter of General 
Washington to Governor Patrick Henry in 1777 
he speaks in very high terms of Colonel Walker, 
whom he had intrusted with important military 
affairs. 

Colonel Walker married Elizabeth Moore, 

daughter of Bernard Moore, of King William 

County, Virginia. She was a granddaughter of 

162 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Colonel Alexander Spotswood, governor of the 
colony and founder of the famous Moore House 
at Yorktown, Virginia. 

Colonel Walker and his wife both died in De- 
cember of 1809, he at Orange Court-House, while 
on his way to Philadelphia to undergo surgical 
treatment, and she at Belvoir. Belvoir then de- 
scended to their only grandchild, Eliza Kinlock, 
who married, in 1799, Judge Hugh Nelson, fifth 
son and child of Governor Thomas Nelson, of 
Yorktown, Virginia. 

The second Belvoir house, built by Colonel 
Walker in 1790, was of more modern pretensions 
and much larger than the first. A cut of it is 
given in the " Page" book, showing it to be quite 
elaborate in style and architecture for that day. 
Though much of its handsome furniture and large 
library was destroyed when burnt in 1836, yet the 
fine old English organ, which was brought over 
from England by the Walkers, was taken apart 
and thrown out of the windows. It was after- 
wards presented to Grace Church by Mrs. William 
C. Rives, and did good service there for many 
years. 

Judge Hugh Nelson married Eliza Kinlock in 
1799, but did not move to Belvoir until after 
Colonel Walker's death in 1809. This most dis- 
tinguished of Virginia's sons was first Speaker of 
the Virginia House of Delegates, then judge of 
the Federal court, Presidential elector in 1809, 
Representative in the United States Congress 1811- 
23, and was afterwards appointed minister to Spain 

163 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

by President Monroe. One of the most interest- 
ing relics connected with Judge Nelson was for- 
merly to be seen at Clover Fields, where his son 
the late F. K. Nelson lived, — it being an autograph 
letter from President Monroe, giving him minute 
directions as to his course while at the Court of 
Madrid, thus putting into practice his celebrated 
" Monroe Doctrine." This showed even then with 
what difficulty our amicable relations with Spain 
were maintained ; but the delicate details were most 
successfully and adroitly carried out by Judge Nel- 
son with a dignity and impression which quite sur- 
prised and overcame the intrigues of that subtle 
nation. 

Judge Nelson was a courtly, handsome gentle- 
man in appearance, an eloquent speaker, and enter- 
tained most sumptuously the many who visited 
Belvoir, especially those of the clergy and legal 
profession. He was greatly admired and esteemed 
by Mr. Jefferson, who consulted him frequently on 
the great Missouri question, and wrote him many 
letters in 1820 concerning the terrible sacrifice of 
property under forced sales in Virginia at that 
time. 

Judge Nelson was prominent and active in the 
church, as have been many of his children and 
grandchildren since. Among the latter is the Right 
Reverend C. Kinlock Nelson, Bishop of Georgia. 

The Hon. Judge Nelson died in 1836, just 
previous to the burning of his elegant dwelling, 
which was never afterwards rebuilt by any of the 
family. Judge and Mrs. Nelson left a family of 

164 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

nine children, — five sons and four daughters, — 
many of whom or their descendants are still living 
in Albemarle County. 

After his death the Belvoir estate was divided 
among five of his children. Dr. Robert W. Nelson, 
of Charlottesville, his fifiih son, obtained the home- 
place ; to Francis K. Nelson, the Peachylorum 
farm, now Rougemont, lying next to Castle Hill ; 
to his fourth son, Keating S. Nelson, the Green- 
wood farm ; his second daughter, Ann Carter Nel- 
son, who married Dr. Tom Meriwether, receiving 
the Kinloch farm. 

In 1846, Dr. Robert W. Nelson sold his portion, 
including the old homestead, to the late Colonel 
D. C. Carver, who erected there a small plain 
building upon nearly the same site where the 
Belvoir mansion stood. This building, strange 
to say, was also burnt. This portion of the tract 
was afterwards bought by Mr. Longfield, who has 
since built a neat, tasty dwelling not very far from 
the site of the old Belvoir mansion. 

Mr. Longfield married a Miss Hite, daughter 
of the late Dr. W. M. Hite, who lived and died at 
the Kinloch farm. He was very closely connected 
with the old Walker family, so these lands are still 
in possession of their descendants. 

The old Belvoir burying-ground, where so 
many of the Meriwethers, Walkers, and Nelsons 
lie, who were such prominent actors during the 
stirring events of the past, is still well preserved 
by a substantial brick wall around it, and their 
graves marked by marble stones. Here the visitor 

»65 



HISTORIC HOMES 

can almost read the entire history and genealogy 
of this section upon these monuments, which are 
all that is left to mark the glory of this historic 
spot ; yet the stately tower of Grace Church rises 
just opposite old Belvoir as a silent witness to the 
faith of those who sleep in these tombs, marking 
as it does the site of the Colonial church build- 
ing in the time of the Walkers, where many gen- 
erations of these noted families along the moun- 
tains have worshipped, and which will perpetuate 
for generations to come the memory of Belvoir, 
the once grand old home of him who gave the land 
upon which it stands. But we miss the avenue 
of stately elms which led from the church to the 
house, and the fine old Belvoir mansion as it sat 
so conspicuously on the broad plane which crowns 
the hill, filled as it was with relics of the past, 
which has passed away forever, closing one of the 
brightest and most noted homes in Albemarle. 



i66 



• r 
2 K 




KINLOCH 

THE HOME OF DR. TOM MERIWETHER. 

A NOTHER lovely home of the Meriwethers 
/\ was Kinloch. While neither ancient in 
^ ^ construction nor venerable in appearance, 
it is yet a spot with many happy memories clus- 
tering around it, memories of charming days when 
some of the most brilliant men of the period were 
wont to gather there, and by their ready wit and 
fine conversational powers delight and fascinate the 
many relatives, friends, and neighbors who were 
constantly filling its halls. 

We have already noted the family homestead of 
Clover Fields, and traced the family history of 
Captain William D. Meriwether, with the disposi- 
tion of his large landed estate, which embraced the 
plantations of Cismont, Clover Fields, Castalia, 
and Music Hall, each of which stretched from 
the summit of the South- West Mountains far 
down to the Machunk Creek. We have thus 
seen that William Hunter and his two daughters, 
Mary Walker and Margaret Douglas, inherited 
most of the home estate. We come now to his 
youngest son, Thomas Warner Meriwether, who 
was born at Clover Fields in 1803. 

To him was given a plantation on the east side 
of Clover Fields, which is now known as Clover 

167 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Hill, upon which his daughter, the present Mrs. 
M. N. Macon, now resides. This son, Thomas 
W., after graduating with high honors at the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, as a physi- 
cian, married, in 1824, Ann Carter Nelson, sister 
of the late Francis K. Nelson, and also of Keating 
S. Nelson, of Fredericksburg, and Dr. R. W. Nel- 
son, of Charlottesville, who were sons of the Hon. 
Hugh Nelson, of Belvoir. 

" Dr. Tom," as he was universally called, settled 
for a time at Clover Fields and there began the 
practice of his profession, his little office in the yard 
still standing as he left it ; but after the death of 
his father-in-law and a division of the Belvoir 
estate he moved there in 1839 and built upon a 
portion of it the present mansion, which he called 
Kinloch, in honor of the Kinloch family of South 
Carolina, from whom his wife was descended, she 
being the granddaughter of Francis Kinloch, a 
Scotchman, who settled very early at Charleston. 
The name Kinloch was always given the Scotch 
sound of Kinlaw. 

The connection of Dr. Meriwether with the 
high and distinguished family of Nelson, whose 
prominence in the early annals of Virginia history 
shines forth in such brilliant colors, leads us to 
turn for a moment in contemplation of the beau- 
tiful character of his wife, Ann Carter Nelson. 
She was the second daughter of the Hon. Hugh 
Nelson of the United States Congress from 1811 
to 1823. She was also the granddaughter of 
Governor Thomas Nelson, of Yorktown, and was 

1 68 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

named for her aunt, Ann Carter, of Shirly, on the 
James River, who was a sister of the celebrated 
Robert Carter, known as " King Carter" of historic 
fame, and who was intimately connected with the 
Lee family. (See Mead's " Lee Family of Vir- 
ginia.") 

Mrs. Ann Meriwether bore many of the striking 
characteristics of her illustrious ancestors, having 
a gentleness of spirit and loving disposition with 
a cultivated, brilliant, and well-stored mind. She 
was well fitted for the genial companionship of 
Dr. Meriwether ; her loyalty to her Scotch descent 
always asserted itself, while she carried with not 
undue pride the distinguished honors of the Nelson 
family. 

" Dr. Tom" entered at once upon a large prac- 
tice, it being at a time when there was no physi- 
cian nearer than Charlottesville on the one side and 
Gordonsville on the other, with the exception of 
Dr. Everett, Sr., up to 1840, thus extending for a 
circuit of twenty miles ; and his horses' hoofs were 
heard to clatter over the hills and mountains from 
Stony Point to Louisa Court-House, and even far 
into Fluvanna. 

After the destruction of the famous Belvoir 
mansion in 1836 the prestige of social delight 
seemed to fall upon Kinloch, where wit and 
humor and the repartee of cultivated minds would 
resound. 

On the site of the Kinloch mansion once stood 

an overseer's house, built by the first settlers of 

Belvoir. It stood in a grove of forest oaks upon 

169 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

the slope of a gentle hill, at the foot of which 
starts a bold spring. The present mansion is of 
more modem pretensions than of the Colonial 
period ; yet the plain two-story frame building put 
up by Dr. Meriwether was in marked contrast to 
the more recent additions made to it, which, with 
vine-embowered portico and enlarged hall and 
rooms, make it a very attractive retreat. 

As the youthful sons and daughters of "Dr. 
Tom" grew up the house was always filled with a 
joyous, pleasant company of kindred and friends. 
Here mirth reigned supreme, and both old and 
young were made to feel the true, hearty welcome 
of its host and hostess. 

Besides his large and extensive practice. Dr. 
Meriwether was a most successful farmer. This 
portion of the original Walker tract was always 
esteemed the best, and its fertility was still further 
enhanced by judicious cultivation upon strictly 
scientific principles, which was rarely done at that 
day, as " book-farming" v/as considered by the 
average Virginia farmer as impracticable ; but 
being a firm disciple of the elder Ruffin, whose 
writings in the Farmers'' Register he studied as 
faithfully as his medical text-books, "■ Dr. Tom" 
proved by his large crops of corn, wheat, and 
tobacco the successful application of science to 
agriculture, and, like his noted uncle, Thomas 
Meriwether, of Louisa County, gained a celebrity 
in the market for his fine " mountain tobacco," 
which was often shipped to Europe, the bills of 
lading for which are still preserved. 

170 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

But the extensive medical practice of " Dr. 
Tom" never yielded the rich pecuniary reward its 
magnitude would imply. Much of his practice 
among the poorer class was gratuitous, his tender, 
sympathetic heart never permitting him to press a 
bill. As an instance of this, a poor neighbor said 
one day to him, " Dr. Tom, I can't pay all of your 
bill." " How much can you pay V inquired the 
doctor. " I can only pay half of it," replied the 
man. " Oh, well," said the good doctor, " strike 
off the other half and call it even." Thus it was 
with nearly all of his many poor patients. His 
great solicitude for the health of his more delicate 
neighbors, in always suggesting the right time for 
thicker shoes and flannels, or giving a hint about 
sitting in draughts or exposing to dampness, was 
in marked contrast to the spirit of the present 
profession, who are always watchful of the main 
chance. 

This solicitude for the health of every one by 
"Dr. Tom" was once experienced by the writer 
when, as a small boy, meeting the doctor on the 
road, he was made to sit on a stump while the 
doctor dismounted and began to scrub and scrape 
a very dirty set of teeth, at the same time giving a 
lecture on cleaning teeth. After getting through he 
said, " There, sir, now keep them so 1" 

At another time, during the prevalence of typhoid 
fever among the negroes, he carried in his pocket 
one of the elegant family silver spoons with which 
to administer the medicine. On a remonstrance 
by some of the family, who suggested a pewter 

171 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

spoon, " Dr. Tom" replied, " No ; it must be the 
same as we would use." 

These little peculiarities marked his justness, 
combined with a charitable disposition such as 
was exemplified upon every occasion. 

Dr. Meriwether was originally a Democrat, but 
when the Whig party started in 1840, he became 
an intense admirer of Henry Clay, and ever after- 
wards affiliated with that party. It was during the 
exciting campaign of 1844-45, between Clay and 
Polk, when Dr. Meriwether became so enthusias- 
tic and sure of Mr. Clay's election that he caused 
to be erected a large "Clay" flag at his gate. 
During the night, however, some of his Demo- 
cratic neighbors cut it down, where it was found 
the next morning trailing in the dust. Not to be 
outdone, " Dr. Tom," with a few other good Whigs, 
secured an extra long and stout pole, which Mr. 
Keating S. Nelson, who was an active young man, 
nailed to the top of a very tall oak-tree at the 
doctor's gate on the public road, and, having se- 
cured it by bands of iron, he then sawed off all 
the lower limbs and tarred the tree ! There the flag 
waved triumphantly for several years, and though 
Mr. Clay was not elected, yet " Dr. Tom" would 
rejoice over his Democratic neighbors that his flag 
was still flying. The flag was completely worn 
out, but the pole was seen there ten years after- 
wards, and possibly some of it is there to this day. 
But " Dr. Tom" was not so excessive in his poli- 
tics as was his cousin Peter, with whom he would 

be sure to have a heated argument whenever they 

172 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

met. His enthusiasm was always more strikingly- 
exhibited when upon literary or scientific subjects. 
Having a classic mind, which was imbued with a 
love for the poetical and beautiful, like the cele- 
brated Dr. Samuel Johnson, of England, he was 
fond of surrounding himself with similar congenial 
spirits, like the Hon, William C. Rives, Dr. Mann 
Page, General William F. Gordon, Colonel Thomas 
J. Randolph, Frank Nelson, and many others, who 
would frequently grace his hospitable board. On 
these occasions none could hear the ready bon- 
mots and hearty laugh of " Dr. Tom" without 
feeling the keen zest of humor which would be 
imparted. 

Dr. Meriwether early became a member of the 
Presbyterian church, though his father as well as 
most of the family were Episcopalians ; yet his 
father, " Captain Billy" Meriwether, did not unite 
with the church of his forefathers until late in life ; 
he and his young kinswoman, Jane Walker Page, 
kneeling together, were confirmed by the venerable 
Bishop Meade in old Walker's Church. It formed 
a touching picture, the patriarch of seventy-five and 
the lovely girl of fifteen, both of whom passed 
away soon afterwards. 

The strong convictions of the Presbyterian faith 
were doubtless received by Dr. Meriwether through 
his intimacy with the celebrated Dr. Skinner, of 
Philadelphia, while under his instruction as a medi- 
cal student ; but though strong in the faith, yet 
the casual observer would never suppose he was 
other than an ardent Episcopalian from his con- 

173 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

stant attendance upon the services of Walker's 
Church and his hearty co-operation in every move- 
ment for its growth and improvement, and, more J 
than all, his great love and admiration for its j 
pastor, the Rev. E. Boyden. 

It was an amusing sight to see such grave men 
as " Dr. Tom" Meriwether, F. K. Nelson, J. W. 
Campbell, Howell Lewis, and many others of the 
staid farmers of the neighborhood, swinging like 
a parcel of school-boys upon long levers and 
shouting lustily to the teams and men, in a vain 
attempt by the neighbors to move old Walker's 
Church building to the rear after the completion 
of the new building ; but the old frame could not 
be moved ; it was on too firm a foundation ; so 
" Dr. Tom" and the committee agreed to pull it to 
pieces and rebuild it in the rear of the new church 
for the benefit of the colored people ; but the 
colored brothers rebelled. " Dey didn't want no 
white church in front o' dem ; dey wa'n't gwine 
take no back seat in hebben, no how ;" so the old 
frame was sold to some farmer for a more irre- 
ligious purpose. 

Dr. Meriwether died in 1862 at Clover Fields, 
his birthplace, from an attack of pneumonia, con- 
tracted while nursing a patient there. His funeral 
sermon was preached at South Plains Presbyterian 
Church by the Rev. Mr. Beach, and also at 
Walker's Church by the Rev. E. Boyden, both 
taking the same text, — " Mark the perfect man, 
and behold the upright ; for the end of that man 
is peace." It is needless to say that large crowds 

174 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

attended on both occasions to attest their love for 
this " beloved physician," who was laid with his 
forefathers in the Clover Fields graveyard. 

The seven children of Dr. Thomas Meriwether 
and Anne Carter Nelson are : 

1. Dr. William Douglas Meriwether ;■ died in Tennessee, 

1880; married, first, Phoebe Gardner, of Richmond, 
Virginia, 1 847, from whom were Mary Gardner ; mar- 
ried Mr. Wallace, of Kentucky. Thomas Warner, of 
Norwalk, Connecticut; married, September i, 1886, 
Alice Emma Blandford. Isabella, lives with her sister, 
Mrs. Wallace, at University of Virginia. Dr. Doug- 
las Meriwether married, second, Anne W. (called Nan- 
nie) Page (see " Page" book) ; she died at Culpeper, 
Virginia, 1873, leaving one child, Evelyn. 

2. Mildred Nelson Meriwether; married, in 1856, George 

W. Macon, of Tufton, Albemarle; died 1880. Their 
children are: i. Thomas W. Macon; Charlotte N. 
Macon ; married Frank M. Randolph, of Clover 
Fields, January 17, 1883; 2. Littleton Macon; 3. 
George W. Macon, of Clover Hill farm ; 4. Douglas 
Macon, M.D., now of New Jersey. 

3. Anne Kinloch Meriwether; married, December 24, 

1850, Frederick W. Page, of Millwood, Albemarle, 
Virginia. 

4. Elizabeth Meriwether; married, 1853, N. H. Massie, 

of Charlottesville, Virginia ; no issue. 

5. Charlotte Nelson Meriwether; married, 1865, Thomas 

Jefferson Randolph, Jr., and was his second wife ; 
died 1876, leaving one daughter, Mary Walker Ran- 
dolph, who married her cousin. Dr. William Ran- 
dolph, of Charlottesville, Virginia. 

6. Thomas W. Meriwether, Jr. ; died single, 1862. 

7. Jane Meriwether ; died in infancy. 

Of the above children of Dr. Meriwether there 
is but one now living, Mrs. Mildred Nelson 

175 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Macon, the widow of the late George W. Macon, 
who still resides at Clover Hill with her son, 
George W. Macon, Jr., who has made the old 
homestead to " blossom as the rose." Clover Hill 
was a part of the Clover Fields tract, given " Dr. 
Tom" by his father. Captain William D. Meri- 
wether, and is one of the few spots of the old 
Meriwether grant retained by the descendants. 

Mrs. Macon is said to strongly resemble in 
features and manner her great-grandmother, Mary 
Walker, who married Nicholas Lewis, of The 
Farm, near Charlottesville, and by her eagerness 
to fight the British and her sway of the home 
circle won the sobriquet of " Captain Moll." 
Mrs. Macon shows by her firm, impressive man- 
ner, her vivacious conversation, her literary tastes, 
and her gentle and loving consideration for others 
many of the beautiful traits of both the Meri- 
wethers and Walkers. 

The many grandchildren of Dr. Tom Meri- 
wether are scattered over our country, filling hon- 
orable stations in life ; yet it is a sad fact that not 
a foot of the once vast Meriwether patent of 
seventeen thousand acres is now held under the 
name oi Meriwether. 

The entire Kinloch farm has passed from the 
family, and yet it is fortunately owned by a de- 
scendant of another historic family, the Everetts, 
of Belmont. Thus the name of Everett is again 
linked with the Walker lands as it was nearly a 
century ago, when the elder Dr. Everett was 

guardian of Judith Page Walker, who afterwards 

176 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

was Mrs. William C. Rives, and inherited Castle 
Hill. 

Kinloch was owned, however, just previous 
to its purchase by its present owner, Mr. Aylett 
Everett, by Dr. Walker Maury Hite, who was the 
son of Major Isaac Hite of Revolutionary fame, 
and was a native of Frederick County, Virginia. 
Dr. Hite married, in 1836, Mary Eleanor, daugh- 
ter of Isaac Williams, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, 
who was a niece of the late Philip Slaughter, 
D.D., the historiographer. Dr. and Mrs. Hite 
both died the same day, April 17, 1890, at Kin- 
loch, and were buried in the Grace Church ceme- 
tery, in sight of their home. 

Their daughter Mary married Mr. Longfield, 

an English gentleman, who had been a resident of 

the county for some time. After the death of 

Dr. Hite they bought and settled upon a part of 

the Belvoir tract, just opposite to Kinloch, and 

there built their tasty little home, near the spot 

where the old Belvoir mansion stood. Dr. Hite 

■ was nearly related to the Maurys and Walkers ; 

and it is thus remarkable that the descendants of 

both these old families should now occupy the 

j lands of the Walkers, and in view of the spot 

I where the Rev. James Maury, first pastor of 

Walker's Church, preached and was laid. 

Kinloch is now owned by Mr. Aylett Everett, 
a rising and popular young farmer, who is causing 
its fields and surroundings to assume their former 
productive appearance. Mr. Everett married Miss 
Sadie Fry, daughter of the late Captain John Fry, 

177 



HISTORIC HOMES 

formerly of Richmond, Virginia, from which union 
they have several children. 

Peaceful Kinloch sets as of old, surrounded by 
draperies of living green, and its lofty trees shed a 
luxuriance of shade over its sloping lawn ; but its 
noble old oaks, which have always been its pride 
and so long have sheltered the mansion, are fast 
showing the lapse of time and are gradually pass- 
ing away, while the mountain breezes still sigh a 
requiem through their decayed limbs in remem- 
brance of the happy, peaceful, and prosperous 
days which have passed over this true type of an 
old Virginia home. 



178 






in 

3 2 



.M^r 






." > 

■^ C 

o 
O 







MERRIE MILL 

THE COUNTRY-SEAT OF JOHN ARMSTRONG 
CHANLER, ESQ. 

THOUGH not boasting of any antiquated 
ancestral mansion with legends of Colonial 
fame, yet Merrie Mill stands upon historic 
ground and takes its name from one of the most 
interesting and ancient landmarks that links the 
past with the present. This is the old Walker 
Mill which sits at the foot of the hill upon which 
the mansion rests and carries on its useful, musical 
work by the aid of a little stream which flows 
through the farm. In the time of Colonel John 
Walker, of Belvoir, who owned all of the land 
embraced in the present Rougemont, Kinloch, and 
Belvoir tracts, there was erected here a grist-mill, 
partly of stone and partly framed, which is said to 
have been built by a celebrated mechanic named 
Johnson from Louisa County, who had done much 
work for " Parson" Douglas of Colonial fame upon 
his Duckinghole farm. This unique old mill still 
stands to attest the substantial structures of our fore- 
fathers. The first story is of stone, with walls a foot 
thick ; upon this is built another story of wood, its 
huge timbers being mortised together and fastened 
with wooden pins. The rough board siding is 

179 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

covered with whip-sawed clapboards put on with 
hand-wrought nails, and its heart-pine shingles are 
secured in the same manner. 

The durability of the work of early carpenters 
is thus shown, as the timbers of the old mill are 
nearly as sound as when first put in, and so firmly 
put together as to resist the storms of many 
decades. The story is told that when it was com- 
pleted the event was celebrated by a grand old 
Virginia party upon its newly-laid floor, to which 
the young people far and near attended and thus 
christened it " Merrie Mill," and right merrily has 
its old wheel turned ever since to the music of its 
splashing waters, defying the wear and tear of time 
or the destruction of war. 

It is said that it ground corn for the Colonial 
army, and is one of the few mills which escaped 
burning by the British under Tarleton or by the 
" Yankees" under Sheridan during the civil war. 
It has supplied the community with bread for 
more than a century, and still does duty when 
sufficient water is supplied to its now silent 
wheel. We are glad to note that Mr. Chanler is 
about to repair the old mill and again make it 
useful. 

In honor of this ancient old mill and the his- 
toric ground upon which it stands Mr. Chanler has 
named his beautiful country-seat. The history of |i 
Belvoir, of which the old mill was once a part, is 
coeval with that of Castle Hill, which is but a few 
miles distant, though it is highly probable that the 
first Belvoir mansion erected by Colonel Robert 



s ^ 

3- ^ 

n C 

re 5> 

3 ?: 




I 



I 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Lewis, which was nearer the mountains, antedates 
the building of Castle Hill. 

All of the land was a part of the celebrated 
Meriwether grant from George II., but the intri- 
cacies through which the property has descended 
and been divided are many, — Meriwether, Lewis, 
Walker, Rives, Nelson, Terrell, Minor, and Lewis 
again, each in their order, until nearly all of the 
five thousand acres has passed out of the family. 
Merrie Mill farm was once a part of the Creek 
farm, both of which formed a part of the Music 
Hall estate, which was owned by the late Captain 
James Terrell. At his death the whole Music 
Hall tract was divided between his nephew, Dr. 
J. H. Minor, and his wife's niece, Sarah Stanford, 
who married Howell Lewis, they getting the lower 
portion, which extended to the Machunk Creek, 
where they built their home, Creek farm. 

In 1857, ^^- Edward S. Pegram, a retired Balti- 
more merchant, purchased of Mr. John Fry, who 
had married the eldest daughter of Mr. Howell 
Lewis, six hundred acres of the Creek farm, most 
of which was in original timber. Here he erected 
the present substantial building, which was con- 
structed under his personal supervision, and formed 
one of the most complete modern structures of 
the day. 

The house is of two stories, forming a T in 
shape, with artistic entablature of fretted cornice 
and fluted columns ; its interior is spacious, each 
of its rooms and wide halls above and below are 
finished in polished chestnut and oak, while every 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

detail is in keeping with its tasty design, and forms 
one of the most striking and ornamental residences 
along the mountains. 

This place was first named Edgefield, where Mr. 
Pegram lived for many years, dispensing the hos- 
pitalities and charities of a truly refined and Chris- 
tian home. 

About 1 880 Edgefield was sold to Dr. Bird, a re- 
tired English officer, who had been deputy surgeon- 
general in the East Indian service. This gentle- 
man greatly improved the farm, setting out large 
orchards and vineyards, and embellished the lawn 
with many evergreens and ornamental trees, which 
have since attained a magnificent growth and give 
to the place quite an English ancestral aspect. 

After the death of Dr. Bird, in 1890, the farm 
was purchased by its present owner, Mr. John 
Armstrong Chanler, of the New York law firm of 
Maxwell Chanler & Co. This gentleman has still 
further added many acres to the original tract, 
making the present Merrie Mill farm to consist of 
about one thousand acres, stretching over a wide 
area of hill and dale and extended woodland, which 
forms a grand park of original growth, through 
which the approach to the house is gained. 

Seated at an elevation of four hundred and fifty 
feet above the sea-level, Merrie Mill forms one of 
the few homesteads which face the mountains, and 
from which is gained a grand view of its entire i 
South-West range ; and though the houses situated ^ 
along the higher mountain slopes may boast of a 
more extended view of the lower lands, yet nothing 

182 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

surpasses the solemn grandeur of the " everlasting 
hills" as seen from the Merrie Mill door-steps. The 
mansion itself stands upon an elevated plain, on 
each side of which is a valley, and through these 
valleys wind the streams that turn the ancient mill 
in the distance. 

On each side of the farm rises majestic oaks of 
the original forest, along the eastern side of which 
is still to be seen traces of an old road, which 
was once known as the " Marquis road," along 
which tradition says La Fayette travelled when on 
his visit to Charlottesville, and the same road was 
traversed by a portion of Tarleton's troops when 
on his raid to Monticello. One of the most at- 
tractive and interesting features of Merrie Mill, 
and so uncommon to most country places, is its 
bathing-pool, a cut of which is given. At a great 
expense Mr. Chanler has turned the waters of a 
bold, clear spring at the foot of the hill into a 
pool of fifty feet in length, twenty in width, and 
from four to six feet in depth. The bottom and 
sides are lined with tin, while at one end stand 
tasty dressing-rooms for ladies and gentlemen, and 
at the other an elevated platform and spring-board 
from which the athletic swimmer can make a 
graceful dive. The whole is surrounded by a bal- 
ustrade, with every appliance to aid the young 
swimmer or rescue from drowning the unwary 
youth in their first efforts. 

This delightful pool of limpid water is gratui- 
tously thrown open to the young people twice a 
week ; and it is needless to say nothing can exceed 

183 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

the pleasure which this boundless gift bestows upon 
his neighborhood. 

Mr. Chanler has also proved a liberal patron to 
the handsome Gothic Grace Church which stands 
in view of his country-seat and adjoins his grounds ; 
it was his thoughtful, generous spirit that en- 
abled its congregation to rebuild more beautifully 
than before their loved church edifice after its de- 
struction by fire in 1894, he having placed an in- 
surance upon it of twelve thousand dollars. 

Mr. Chanler has unostentatiously been a gener- 
ous contributor to every enterprise for the welfare 
of the community, and has aided in a quiet way 
many of his less fortunate neighbors ; it is therefore 
no surprise that he is held in great love and admira- 
tion by his fellow-citizens wherever he is known. 
Mr. Chanler's liberality, however, has not been 
confined to Virginia alone. Being himself a great 
lover of art, he has endowed most handsomely an 
institution in New York for the encouragement of 
poor artists and those struggling in literary pur- 
suits. Thus his great wealth has been made to 
benefit his fellow-men, and who shall say he has 
not fulfilled the divine law ^ 

Having sojourned in Paris, Berlin, and other 
parts of Europe, Mr. Chanler has adorned his beau- 
tiful home with many choice pieces of statuary, 
paintings, and rare books from the old country. 
The lover of the antique can also see here many in- 
teresting relics of the past, among which are some 
of Thomas Jefferson's furniture, besides old books, 
papers, and curios from different parts of the world. 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Merrie Mill in summer-time is an idealistic spot, 
its beautiful lawn bedecked with stately evergreens 
and fruit-trees, which almost conceal the mansion 
in their wealth of foliage, its sensuous perfume of 
fragrant flowers, the song of birds, the luxuriantly 
oriental chaise-a-bras^ which tempts the visitor to 
delightful abandon^ while on every side rich paint- 
ings and books pander to the love of literature and 
art. Certainly there is no place under the shadow 
of the South-West Mountains which so readily fills 
the dream of the poet, — 

" A wilderness of sweets ; for Nature here 
Wanton'd as in her prime, and played at will 
Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet. 
Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss." 

The family of Mr. Chanler is one of the oldest 
and most distinguished of New York State, He 
was born in New York, October lo, 1862, the son 
of John Winthrop Chanler and Margaret Astor 
Ward, grandson of Samuel Ward and Emily 
Astor, and great-grandson of William B. Astor 
and Margaret Armstrong, and also great-grandson 
of John Armstrong and Miss Livingston. 

John Armstrong was a native of Pennsylvania, 
and was a colonel during the French and Indian 
wars. On March 1, 1776, he was commissioned 
brigadier-general in the Pennsylvania Line, and 
was engaged in the battles of Brandywine, Ger- 
mantown, and other actions during the Revolu- 
tion. He resigned April 4, 1 777, and became a 
member of the first Congress. He died at Carlisle, 

185 



HISTORIC HOMES 

Pennsylvania, March 9, 1795. Mr. Chanler is a 
member of the " Sons of the Revolution," and 
also the " Society of Fine Arts" and other literary 
institutions in New York City. He graduated 
when quite young in law, and is a prominent 
member of the New York bar. 

Besides his legal practice, Mr. Chanler has large 
interests in cotton and iron factories in North 
Carolina and other Southern States, and his invest- 
ments are scattered through many parts of the 
Union. 

Mr. Chanler has never entered politics or as- 
pired to office, though frequently urged to do so 
by his many friends. His tastes lie more in the 
quiet pleasures of literary and artistic pursuits, un- 
trammelled by the ties of office ; yet his political 
feelings have always been with the South, and of 
a broad, conservative character. 

Unostentatious in manner, of a bounteous hos- 
pitality, a genial, happy disposition, such is a slight 
sketch of the owner of the beautiful Merrie Mill 
farm, who for one so young has attained an en- 
viable position in the public eye, and is one of the 
prominent men of our time. 



186 



ROUGEMONT 

THE HOME OF THE DICKINSONS 

SEATED at an elevation of seven hundred 
I and six feet on one of the highest slopes 
of the South- West range is Rougemont. 
It enjoys an altitude higher than any of the old 
I homesteads between Charlottesville and Gordons- 
I ville, and commands a far-reaching view of the 
eastern horizon, while rising abruptly from its 
i rear towers Rougemont Mountain, thirteen hun- 
I dred and seventy-six feet above the sea-level. 
i This place was once called Peachylorum, doubt- 
\ less in honor of the Peachy family, with whom the 
Walkers intermarried at an early date. Lying as 
it does contiguous to Castle Hill, it once formed 
a part of the Belvoir estate, which was cut off 
about the year 1764 by Dr. Thomas Walker and 
given to his eldest son, Hon. John Walker. The 
Hon. Hugh Nelson next succeeded to the estate, 
and gave the Peachylorum tract to his eldest son, 
Francis K. Nelson, who doubtless built there the 
first residence, about the year 1824. He lived at 
Peachylorum until his second marriage, in 1843, 
his second wife being Margaret Douglas Meri- 
wether, of Clover Fields, to which place he re- 
moved, and there died. In 1845 Peachylorum 

187 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

was bought by Charles J. Meriwether, the brother 
of his second wife, who married a Miss Miller. 
They lived at Peachylorum for many years, beau- 
tifying the place and making it a lovely resort for 
their many relatives and friends. 

Mr. Meriwether outlived all of his brothers and 
sisters, and is still remembered as a true type of 
the Meriwether family, — firm and decided in every 
opinion, with a most congenial and hospitable 
disposition. He was a delegate to the Episco- 
pal Convention of Virginia every year from its 
commencement in 1830 to his death. They had 
no children, but lived for the happiness of others. 
They travelled extensively, visiting Europe and 
the Holy Land, as well as over the greater portion 
of the United States, and imparted the great 
knowledge gained by their careful observations 
to the advancement of the youth around them. 
After their death Peachylorum was sold in 1854 
to Captain George C. Dickinson, of New York. 

When Captain Dickinson took possession, the 
name of the place was changed to Rougemont by 
suggestion of Mrs. William C. Rives, of Castle 
Hill, as being more appropriate, significant of the 
soil on which it stands. 

Captain Dickinson made vast improvements to 
the old building, which was quite small, and 
under his skill and taste as an architect was greatly 
enlarged and modernized, having spacious halls 
and rooms, with the addition of a large dancing- 
saloon, which was often the scene of most sump- 
tuous entertainments, such as won for it among 

188 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

the beau monde of that day a wide-spread celebrity 
for enchanting festivity. 

The mansion now stands most conspicuously 
amid rich forest-trees, forming a beautiful picture 
as seated on its lofty eminence surrounded by 
sloping hills, with the mountain for its background. 
In 1846 it was discovered that this high hill upon 
which it sits was formed of solid granite, lying 
but a few feet from its surface, and when the 
present Grace Church was planned by Mrs. Wil- 
liam C. Rives, the building was constructed entirely 
of this granite, many tons of which were quarried 
not far from the Rougemont mansion. This granite 
has since proved its superior quality by resisting 
the wear and tear of time or destruction by fire. 
Rougemont Mountain is also famous as being the 
spot where the last wolf of the South- West Moun- 
tains was killed, the skin of which was stuffed and 
kept for many years at Clover Fields. The writer 
can well remember this exciting event, which 
caused the youth of that day to display their 
bravery in the hunt, and the rejoicings of the 
farmers over its capture, it having caused much 
loss to their flocks. 

George Codwise Dickinson was born in the 
city of New York in 1832. He was a direct de- 
scendant of the old Knickerbocker family, the 
first settlers of Manhattan Island. He was also 
in direct line connected with the Van Rensse- 
laers, Byvanckes, Codwises, Van Ransts, Bleekers, 
and other celebrated and ancient families of the 
State. 

189 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Captain Dickinson graduated quite early as a 
civil engineer, and rose rapidly in his profession, 
attaining a high position on many public works. 
He was a prominent member of the "American 
Society of Civil Engineers," who, after his death, 
published a handsome tribute to his memory. At 
the commencement of the civil war in 1861, he 
was commissioned in the engineer service of the 
State of Virginia, and assigned to duty in the forts 
at Gloucester Point and York River. In 1862 he 
entered the service of the Confederate States, and for 
some time was engaged as division engineer in the 
surveys and construction of the Piedmont Railroad 
in Virginia and North Carolina. From May, 1 863, 
until the close of the war he was on duty as cap- 
tain of engineers in the Army of Northern Vir- 
ginia, serving in Pender's division under General 
A. P. Hill. In 1890 he had charge, as assistant 
engineer, of the Hudson Suspension Bridge and 
New England Railway ; also on the Peekskill 
Suspension Bridge, over the Hudson River. In 
1891, and to the time of his death, he was chief 
engineer of the Broadway and West Virginia 
Mining Company Railroad. He also held posi- 
tions on the Baltimore and Ohio, Chesapeake and 
Ohio, New York Central, and Hudson River Rail- 
roads, and was city engineer of Portsmouth, Ohio, 
besides doing much private work. We quote the 
high testimonial which his work elicited from the 
" American Society of Civil Engineers." 

" In all the various lines of his profession in 

which Mr. Dickinson was engaged he took a gen- 

190 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

uine delight and gave his undivided attention. He 
was exceedingly methodical and accurate, careful, 
a close reasoner, and honest in all his work, and 
his results could always be relied upon. His early 
habits of study continued through his business 
life, and he devoted many hours of each day be- 
fore the active discharge of his duties to prepara- 
tion for them and to quiet study." 

In 1862, Captain Dickinson married Kate Bald- 
win, the daughter of the late Herman Baldwin, of 
Richmond, Virginia, who was at one time cashier 
of the Mechanics' Bank, Wall Street, New York. 
He moved to Richmond, Virginia, in 1835, where 
he built up a large and prosperous business. Mrs. 
Dickinson had a sister, Emmeline, who married 
George Otis Sweet, of South Carolina. She has 
recently died at the advanced age of eighty-two 
years. The late Horace L. Kent, of Richmond, 
also married one of the sisters of Mrs. Dick- 
inson. 

From this union of Captain Dickinson and Kate 
Baldwin were five sons and one daughter : 

1. Rev. Thomas Gilford Dickinson, pastor of the King 

Avenue Methodist Church, Columbus, Ohio. 

2. Helen Augusta Dickinson ; only daughter. Died Janu- 

ary 17, 1892, a few days prior to the death of her 
father. 

3. Charles Edward Dickinson, Cobham, Virginia; civil 

engineer. 

4. Dr. John Byvanck Dickinson ; a prominent physician of 

Boston, Massachusetts. 

5. Richard Dickinson. Died in 1893. 

6. George Otis Dickinson. Died January 3, 1897. 

191 



HISTORIC HOMES 

Captain G. C. Dickinson died January 24, 1892. 
His grave and that of his sons and only daughter 
lie in the Grace Church cemetery, which his hands 
laid off. Their graves are marked by a handsome 
and massive monument of Vermont granite, around 
which are constantly kept fresh and fragrant flowers 
by loving hands. Captain Dickinson had a younger 
brother, Edward Tompkins Dickinson, who resides 
in Chatenay, France. 

All the members of the family have been noted 
for their high culture, noble bearing, and great suc- 
cess in their various professions. Captain Dickin- 
son was a liberal and enthusiastic supporter of the 
Episcopal Church, being for many years senior 
warden of the beautiful Gothic Grace Church 
which stands in full view of their attractive home 
as it sits on the gentle hill Rougemont. 



192 



I 



HOPEDALE 

THE HOME OF THE BOYDENS 

MENTION has been made already in the 
sketch of Cismont that the Rev. E. 
Boyden once lived in the old dwelling 
at the foot of the hill, which he called " The 
Cottage Rectory," where he lived until the year 
1 849, when he purchased two hundred and twenty 
acres of land near the present Grace Church and 
removed to his new home. This farm belonged 
to a Miss Lucy Miller, a descendant of a family 
who had long resided there. They doubtless 
came from Goochland County, as we find W. 
Miller was clerk of Goochland Court in 1794, 
which position has been handed down from father 
to son to the present day, it being now held by 
Mr. William Miller and his son Mr. P. G. Miller. 
This tract of land lies between Castle Hill and 
Kinloch, and must have formed a part of the 
Walker tract. A very old but strongly built 
frame dwelling of one and one-half stories, con- 
taining four large rooms, stood not far from the 
county road ; to this Mr. Boyden began to build 
a brick addition of eight rooms, but which was 
not entirely completed for some time afterwards. 
The place, before Mr. Boyden took it, was a 

13 193 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

galled and barren spot, which was called the " eye- 
sore" of the neighborhood ; but it was named 
Hopedale, as it was bought in hope^ such as alone 
sustains the weary toilers of the soil, and but for 
which the world would cease. 

But by skill and shrewdness, combined with a 
refined and cultivated taste for the beautiful in 
nature, Mr. Boyden soon made it a most attractive 
and ornamental home without any great expendi- 
ture of money. For many years afterwards Mr. 
Boyden continued his school which had been 
formed at the " Cottage Rectory," and under the 
guidance of his accomplished daughters, aided by 
skilful teachers, became quite celebrated as a re- 
fined home-school for young ladies. 

Mr. Boyden was quite an enthusiast in horti- 
culture, planting most of his farm in apple-trees 
and fruits generally, which yielded quite a large 
revenue each year. 

Hopedale has of late years become an attractive 
resort for summer visitors to this interesting region. 
Here they can view the lofty Peter's Mountain 
on the one hand, near the foot of which nestle 
Castle Hill and Keswick School, on the other 
side rise Kinloch, Belvoir, and Bowlesville, with 
the Gothic tower of Grace Church peeping above 
the distant tree-tops ; while before the door ex- 
pands a wide table landscape, where hill and dale, 
interrupted with woodland, form a pleasing view. 

The family of Boyden stands pre-eminently 

conspicuous through the whole history of our 

country, beginning as early as 1630, when three 

194 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

brothers of the name came from England and 
settled upon the spot where the city of Boston, 
Massachusetts, now stands. In 1660 two of these 
brothers with their famihes removed and settled 
at Worcester, Massachusetts ; the third one also 
moved, to New Jersey, where the name gradually 
changed to Borden, from which Bordentown was 
named. In 1730 three families of the name emi- 
grated to Vermont, the heads of which were 
Daniel, William, and James Boyden, brothers. 
Daniel and James settled near Guilford, and Wil- 
liam at Drummerstown, Vermont. The eldest, 
Daniel, was grandfather of the subject of this 
sketch, and was a very devout and good man, 
who died about 1809. His eldest son, Daniel, 
was the father of the Rev. E. Boyden, and in- 
herited the well-cultivated farm of his father, who 
had redeemed it from the wilderness. He died 
in 1852. The mother of Mr. Boyden was Miss 
Goodenough, daughter of Ebenezer Goodenough, 

, who lived to be ninety years of age, dying in 

' 1828, a very religious man. 

j Ebenezer Boyden, of Hopedale, son of Daniel 

! and Tabitha Boyden, of Vermont, was born at 
Guilford, May 25, 1803. At the age of sixteen 
he was confirmed by Bishop Griswold. He en- 
tered Yale College in 1821, and graduated with 
honor in 1825. In 1827 he entered the Virginia 
Theological Seminary at Alexandria, and was 
ordained deacon at Petersburg by Bishop Moore 
in 1828. He returned to the seminary and took 
charge, as editor, for eighteen months, of the 

195 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Theological Repository^ a monthly magazine, pre- 
viously edited by the professors. In 1829 he 
preached for three months in Christ Church, 
Georgetown, D.C. In January, 1830, he took 
charge of Trinity Church, Staunton, Virginia, 
which was a small brick building, a relic of 
Colonial times, having high square pews, clerk's 
desk, reading-desk, and pulpit, each rising above 
the other in the same line, the pulpit being very 
high above the people. 

Staunton was at that time a town of about 
twelve hundred inhabitants. Prejudice against the 
Episcopal Church was then quite strong and very 
general throughout the valley ; but by tact, energy, 
and great effort Mr. Boyden succeeded in estab- 
lishing it upon a firm footing in the county, and 
finally in erecting a new church building of larger 
proportions and more modern appearance in place 
of the old one. He also gathered funds and built, 
about six miles distant from Staunton, a neat brick 
chapel, where he held regular services for two 
years, and when the bounds of the parish were 
afterwards established his name was given to it, the 
building being still known as " Boyden Chapel." 

In January, 1832, he married Mary Sheffey, 
eldest daughter of the Hon. Daniel Sheffey, of 
Staunton, one of the most noted lawyers of his 
day and Senator in the United States Congress 
from Virginia. He was also famous for his be- 
nevolent Christian character and large benefactions. 
Much more could be said of this illustrious states- 
man did space permit. 

196 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

On the mother's side, Mrs. Boyden belonged 
to the Hansons, at one time a wealthy family of 
Maryland and the District. 

Mrs. Boyden was a woman of strong, elevated 
character and of earnest, devout piety, a model 
wife and mother. She truly became a helpmate 
for her husband and fulfilled in the highest degree 
a clergyman's wife. At a time when missionary 
zeal was almost extinct her interest in it became 
intense and expansive, and her personal contribu- 
tions to the cause were as liberal as the most rigid 
self-denial could make them. She died honored 
and beloved in October, 1881. 

Near the close of 1832, Mr. Boyden accepted a 
call to St. Paul's Church, Norfolk, Virginia, where 
he remained about two years and a half, greatly 
beloved, building up the congregation and strength- 
ening the church in that place. Owing to failing 
health caused by the low country, he left Norfolk 
and took charge of Trinity Church, Cleveland, 
Ohio. Here he found the work too severe for a 
delicate constitution, and in November, 1838, he 
resigned his charge and returned to Virginia. 

On June 1, 1839, he became rector of Walker's 
Church, Albemarle County, having in connection 
with it St. Ann's Church in the same county. 
The latter he resigned in 1849, accepting in its 
stead St. John's Church in Louisa County. 

When first taking charge of old Walker's 

Church, Mr. Boyden found it similar to the one 

he had previously held in Staunton, Virginia, being 

of the Colonial style, having high-backed pews 

197 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

and a very lofty pulpit, which admitted of small 
space between the ceiling and the preacher's head. 
It was a very rude framed building, many of its 
clapboards loose and missing, while between the 
wainscoting many generations of wasps had built 
their nests, which, upon the approach of spring 
weather, would send forth swarms of the pestiferous 
vespidae, to the great annoyance of pastor and con- 
gregation, who would frequently be compelled to 
beat a retreat. 

Here Mr. Boyden labored for many years, work- 
ing most assiduously for the erection of the beau- 
tiful stone building, the corner-stone of which he 
laid in 1848, and his heart rejoiced to see its com- 
pletion and consecration in 1855. Mr. Boyden 
continued to fill the pulpits of his several churches 
until 1879, when he resigned them, after having 
served the community faithfully for forty years ! 
Nor did the increasing infirmities of old age, which 
caused this retirement, leave him totally inactive, 
for he continued in usefulness and good works as 
long as his strength permitted. In February, 1890, 
he was attacked with the prevailing epidemic of 
influenza, from which he could not rally, and on 
January 15, 1891, he entered into rest, in his eighty- 
eighth year, at his home, Hopedale, which he had 
built and beautified. Mr. Boyden was a most forci- 
ble preacher, an elegant writer, using the purest dic- 
tion, and possessed of a clear and wonderful mind ; 
he was of a poetical nature, often clothing his 
thoughts in verse, a lover of the beautiful in na- 
ture, brilliant in imagination, with decidedly orig- 

198 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

inal views on the general topics of tlie day, which 
would frequently emanate from his pen, and always 
attract the thinking public. 

A handsome memorial window of rich stained 
glass, in rear of the chancel of the beautifully re- 
constructed Grace Church, can now be seen, erected 
to the memory of this beloved pastor by the late 
Dr. Richard Channing Moore Page, of New York 
City, which bears the following inscription : 

" Rev» E. Boyden. 

Born May 25*^, 1803. 

Died January 15"", 1891. 

For forty years the beloved 

Rector of this church." 

Just previous to the civil war, when the country 
was agitated on the slavery question, he wrote a 
pamphlet, " The Epidemic of the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury," being a strong argument in support of the 
institution from a scriptural point of view. This 
coming from a man who had been reared in the 
hot-bed of abolitionism, but who had seen the 
falsity of Northern prejudice and the just and hu- 
mane treatment of the negroes in the South, at- 
tracted great attention and comment both North 
and South, and being irrefutable it had a marked 
effect. Two of Mr. Boyden's sons entered the 
ministry of the Episcopal Church. The eldest. 
Rev. Daniel Hanson Boyden, died in 1871, after 
having served as chaplain in the Confederate ser- 
vice, which proved fatal to his delicate constitu- 
tion. The younger son, the Rev. Peter Meri- 
wether Boyden, rector of the church at Boydton, 

199 



HISTORIC HOMES 

Mecklenburg County, Virginia, for many years, 
now of Brookville, Maryland. He married, in 
1879, Miss Ella W. Smith, daughter of Dr. Wil- 
liam Smith, of Goochland, Virginia. 
Their five children are : 

I. Mary ShefFey. 2. Eleanor Shepherd. 3. Adele Pen- 
dleton. 4. Rosa Rutherford. 5. Lillian Gordon. 

The third son, John Lewis Boyden, farms the 
old homestead, an honored and respected Chris- 
tian gentleman. He married, in 1879, Miss Cor- 
nelia Payne, of Amherst, daughter of Samuel 
Spotswood Payne, Esq., a descendant of Governor 
Spotswood. Mrs. Boyden also claims descent from 
" Dolly" Madison, the wife of President Madison. 

Their children are : 

I. John Hanson. 2. Bessie Noland. 3. Margaret Douglas. 

Four daughters survive their father, the Rev. E. 
Boyden, — Mary ShefFey, Frances Meriwether, born 
in the Cismont mansion, Celestine, and Henrietta. 
The second daughter, Lilla, died February 22, 1890. 

It is interesting to note the names of Lewis 
and Meriwether linked with that of Boyden, who, 
though of no kindred to the latter, yet now own 
a part of the soil once trod by General Robert 
Lewis, of Belvoir, and Colonel Nicholas Meri- 
wether of old ; it was in gratitude and admiration 
for the descendants of these noble families that 
led Mr. Boyden to name his sons and daughters 
for those, among whom his children had lived and 
been reared, as " of the manor born." 



CASTLE HILL 

THE HOME OF THE RIVESES 

IF there is any place by man's creation which 
approaches the great secret of nature, like the 
untouched woods or the ocean's roar, which 
calls forth our solemn admiration — that place is 
Castle Hill. Let us leave the shimmering fields 
'neath an August sun and enter this sylvan retreat, 
there to bathe in an atmosphere which has created 
poets and philosophers. 

In approaching the domains of Castle Hill 
from the public highway we course a long avenue 
formed on each side by lofty cedars and locusts, 
which extend in graceful curves for nearly a mile. 
As the mountains are approached we reach an 
elevated plain, from which a wide expanse of view 
breaks forth towards the east. 

On entering the portals of an extended lawn 
which stretches for several hundred yards from the 
house, which even yet can scarcely be seen amidst 
the dense foliage, one is lifted in a transport of 
delight while circling through a maze of lofty 
oaks, drooping ferns, and fragrant evergreens. On 
every side Nature and Art seem to meet and kiss 
each other. On the one hand a tangled under- 
growth of original forest, while on the other a 
long stretch of velvet green, dotted here and there 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

with tropical plants, which waft the perfumed air 
and cooling breeze in joyous welcome towards 
the visitor, who feels as if approaching some 
enchanted haven of peaceful rest, such as this 
beautiful home really possesses. 

The stranger who visits Castle Hill for the first 
time is apt to feel disappointed at not seeing some 
lofty palatial structure, such as its name implies. 
The house is scarcely visible at all through the 
forest of trees until he alights at the foot of its 
steps, which lead to a wide-spread portico, whose 
stately Corinthian columns are entwined with 
English ivy, while on each side towering azalias 
stand sentinel. Glancing up, one sees a simple, 
plain two-story brick building, flanked on each 
side by high windows and glass doors, which lead 
to extensive conservatories. It is not until enter- 
ing the wide hall and looking to the rear that one 
is struck with the beauty of its luxurious space, 
which the mansion presents in truly castellated 
style. 

The first to catch the eye of the visitor is its 

many works of art. Wherever one turns — in 

hall, parlor, or dining-room — he beholds some 

choice work from the brush of Amelie Rives 

(now Princess Troubetzkoy) or one of the old 

masters which adorn its many walls. To one 

who is familiar with the family history it affords 

delight to recognize the excellent portraits of the 

Hon. Mr. and Mrs. William C. Rives, being 

copies taken by Princess Troubetzkoy from the 

originals of the celebrated engraver Charles Fen- 

202 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

drich in 1838, representing Mr. Rives at the age 
of forty. Also the fine portraits of his eldest 
daughter, Mrs. Amelie Louise Sigourney, and her 
sister, Miss Ella Rives, taken by the famous 
French artist, Guillaume. One of the most in- 
teresting of the family collection is that of the 
three sons of Mr. Rives, — Francis Robert, William 
Cabell, and Alfred Landon, — at the ages of ten, 
seven, and three years. These form a group, 
presenting a most pleasant, life-like scene, and 
were taken in Paris in 1832, while Mr. Rives was 
ambassador from this country. 

Many other portraits, landscapes, etchings, and 
rich bric-a-brac^ collections of many years of travel 
in foreign lands, will claim the attention of the 
visitor, from which he will turn with reluctance. 

The second story is gained by a circular stair- 
way, and its rooms are as capacious and lofty as 
those below. To the left is pointed out the room 
of Ame'lie Rives (then Mrs. Chanler), where at the 
window fronting the lawn stand her little rocking- 
chair and the table upon which she wrote " The 
Quick or the Dead V and many of her other pro- 
ductions. Stepping upon the upper balcony, one 
here can gain the best view of the wide-spread lawn, 
stretching forth like a lake of green, with arched 
elms and evergreens on each side, forming a grand 
vista, upon which the eye never grows weary of 
gazing. Descending again to the wide hall below, 
which extends through the entire building, or rather 
both buildings, for the front or brick part is com- 
paratively a modern structure, having been built 

203 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

by Mr. Rives in 1824 and more recently improved 
by his son, Colonel Alfred L. Rives, who has 
expended large sums in its remodelling and em- 
bellishment. 

Such is the present Castle Hill mansion as its 
front presents, and as the visitor will find a 

** Beauty in every stick and stone. 
With nature, too, to call its own." 

Passing through its wide hallway to the rear we 
come to the still more interesting part, its wooden, 
or the original building of Castle Hill, as erected 
in the time of Dr. Thomas Walker, 1764. We 
give quite an accurate view of this old portion, 
showing its antiquated appearance, with its low 
roof and small dormer-windows, which have been 
well preserved, presenting a striking contrast be- 
tween the architecture of the present and that of 
more than one hundred years ago. In these 
diminutive rooms were once assembled such great 
men as Colonel Peter Jefferson, the father of the 
President, who also was a frequent visitor. Gov- 
ernor Thomas Nelson, President Madison, and 
possibly General Washington, for Dr. Walker 
was intimately associated both publicly and pri- 
vately with the " Father of his Country," who 
passed with his troops within sight of the old 
mansion on his march to the West during the 
Braddock war. Here, too, is where Tarleton 
stopped with a portion of his troops in 1781, 
when upon his raid to Charlottesville, in a vain 

attempt to capture Governor Jefferson and the 

204 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Legislature, but was detained at Castle Hill by a 
very tardy but sumptuous breakfast. It is said 
that the British general became quite irate at the 
delay in serving the meal, and stalked into the 
kitchen demanding the cause, whereupon that 
worthy functionary, the colored cook, said, " De 
soldiers dun eat up two breakfuses as fast as I kin 
cook 'em." The general then ordered the men to 
be flogged, being first tied to a cherry-tree, the 
site of which is still shown, and were most un- 
mercifully whipped, their loud cries resounding 
over the place. This delay, however, was the 
means of saving the governor, as a messenger had 
been quickly despatched to notify him of the 
advancing enemy. The spot where once stood 
the ox-heart cherry-tree referred to is where Dr. 
Walker would frequently meet and parley with 
the Indian chiefs on their way to Williamsburg, 
an interesting account of which is to be found in 
the " Genealogy of the Page Family of Virginia," 
by Dr. R. C. M. Page, of New York, who also 
gives a history of the Walker family. If we trace 
back the " Walkers," who have been prominent 
in Colonial history from 1709, we will find that 
Dr. Thomas Walker, who was born 1715, was 
the fourth in descent from Thomas Walker, of 
Gloucester County, first of the family in Virginia, 
who was a member of the Colonial Assembly, 
1662. 

The English Walkers, from whom are directly 
descended the Virginia family, were of the nobility, 

many being particularly mentioned in early English 

205 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

history. They were quite prominent in the Estab- 
hshed Church, as we read of the eminent Rev. 
Dr. Samuel Walker, grandson of Sir Thomas 
Walker, who represented the city of Exeter in 
many successive Parliaments during the reigns of 
Charles I. and II. He married the only daughter 
of the Rev. S. Hall, youngest son of the venerable 
Bishop Hall, a prelate to whom he was related by 
bonds more binding than those of consanguinity. 

Sir Thomas Walker was born at Exeter, 1714. 
From him descended Robert Walker, of Kingston, 
who emigrated from Scotland to Virginia with two 
brothers, who respectively settled in Brunswick and 
Albemarle Counties some time before the Revolu- 
tion. One of these brothers was the first Thomas 
Walker referred to above. The English Walkers 
are described as being " tall and of pleasing coun- 
tenance and general deportment, such as to com- 
mand great respect ; grave and dignified, but always 
affable and cheerful in intercourse with others." 
These characteristics seem to be strikingly inherited 
by their Virginia descendants. 

By the marriage of Dr. Walker, in 1 74 1 , with 
Mildred Thornton, widow of Nicholas Meriwether 
(3d), he came into possession of nearly one-half 
of the Meriwether lands along the South- West 
Mountains, the other half going to Colonel Robert 
Lewis, of Belvoir, who had married Jane Meri- 
wether, eldest daughter of Nicholas Meriwether 
(2d). Tradition says that Dr. Thomas Walker 
was the first white man to enter Kentucky, having 
gone there in 1750, thirteen years before Daniel 

206 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Boone. His hatchet, marked T. W., with which 
he blazed his trail, was afterwards found, and is 
still retained in the family. He was highly es- 
teemed by and won the friendship of the principal 
tribes of Indians in the West, as well as the chief 
sachems in Virginia. He was present at the treaty 
of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, by which the colonists 
secured, in 1744, all the territory in Virginia as 
claimed by the Indians. Dr. Walker was also 
participant in a purchase of six millions of acres 
in 1777 from George Croghan, who had purchased 
it from the six united nations or tribes of Indians 
of this large body of land, which embraced nearly 
the whole of Ohio and Kentucky. Dr. Walker's 
part of this was an eighth of a forty-eighth part, 
and his two sons, John and Thomas, one-sixth 
and one-seventh part respectively. There are still 
held by the descendants deeds for several tracts 
of land in Albemarle as conveyed by Lord Dun- 
more, 1772, and also one of three hundred and 
fifty acres of land in Louisa County under patent 
granted by George III. Dr. Walker was a practis- 
ing physician, and attended Colonel Peter Jeffer- 
son during his last sickness, a bill for which is still 
preserved. Perhaps there was no man who ren- 
dered more service to the colonists in preserving 
peace with the Indians and in gaining quiet pos- 
session of their lands than Dr. Thomas Walker, 
for which his intimacy with Washington and 
Jefferson proves the high estimation in which 
they held him. 

The exact date of erection of the first building 

207 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

at Castle Hill is not known. Dr. Walker built 
the present wooden part in 1764, but it was not 
quite completed even then. It fronted north-west, 
facing the mountain, which then formed the ap- 
proach to the house, but when the brick addition 
was made in 1824 by Hon. William C. Rives, the 
front was changed to the south-east, as at present. 

Dr. Walker by his first marriage with Mildred 
Thornton Meriwether had twelve children. To 
his eldest son, John, was given the Belvoir tract. 
Mary Walker married Nicholas Lewis, of The 
Farm, near Charlottesville ; Susan married Henry 
Fry, of Albemarle ; Thomas Walker, Jr., mar- 
ried Margaret Hoopes, and settled at Indian 
Fields ; Lucy Walker married Dr. George Gil- 
mer, of Fen Park, near Charlottesville ; Elizabeth 
married the Rev. Matthew Maury, second pastor 
of old Walker's Church ; Mildred married Joseph 
Horsby, of Williamsburg, Virginia ; Sarah mar- 
ried Colonel Reuben Lindsay, of Albemarle ; 
Martha married George Divers, of Farmington, 
Albemarle ; Reuben died young ; Francis Walker 
married Jane Byrd Nelson, of Yorktown, Vir- 
ginia, and succeeded to the Castle Hill estate ; 
Peachy Walker married Joshua Fry, of Ken- 
tucky. 

The Hon. Francis Walker, who was born at 
Castle Hill, June 22, 1764, married the daughter 
of Colonel Hugh Nelson, of Yorktown, in 1798, 
and resided at Castle Hill until his death in 1806. 
He was very prominent in the political field, and 

represented the counties of Orange and Albemarle 

208 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

in the United States Congress, 1793-95. His 
wife's sister, Maria Nelson, was one of the victims 
of the Richmond Theatre fire in 1811; her re- 
mains were identified by the Hon. Francis Wal- 
ker's watch, which she wore on the fatal night, 
and which is now in possession of Dr. Robert 
W. Nelson, of Charlottesville, Virginia. By the 
union of Francis Walker and Jane Nelson there 
were three children : Jane Frances Walker, the 
eldest, was born in the celebrated Nelson House, 
at Yorktown, Virginia ; she married Dr. Mann 
Page in 1815, who, with his wife, moved to 
Turkey Hill, a part of the Castle Hill estate. 
Thomas Hugh Walker, the only son of Francis 
Walker, died when five years old ; the second 
daughter and third child, Judith Page Walker, was 
born at Castle Hill in 1802 ; she married, March 
24, 1819, the Hon. William C. Rives, United 
States Senator from Virginia. Mrs. Rives died at 
Castle Hill, June 23, 1882, at the age of eighty 
years, having survived her husband fourteen years. 
Mr. Rives was one of the most prominent states- 
men of his day, and gave a lustre to diplomacy, 
both at home and abroad, such as has not been 
equalled since. In 1809-11 he studied law under 
Thomas Jefferson ; 1814-15, was aide-de-camp to 
General John H. Cocke, of Virginia ; 1817-19, 
member of Virginia House of Delegates from Nel- 
son County, and in 1822-23 the same for Albe- 
marle County; 1823-29, a Representative in the 
United States Congress; 1829-32, United States 

minister to France ; 1832-45, United States Senator 
14 209 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

from Virginia ; 1849-53, again United States min- 
ister to France, after which he retired to private life, 
and spent his remaining years at Castle Hill, where 
he prepared his " History of the Life and Times of 
James Madison," a work which for historic interest 
and beauty of language stands complete. The 
last public act of Mr. Rives was as a delegate to 
the " Peace Conference" in February, 1 86 1 , where || 
he raised his voice against the hasty secession of 
Virginia, in an earnest effort to save the rupture of 
a Union which he loved so well and had served so 
long and faithfully. No courtier of the eighteenth 
century could surpass Mr. Rives in elegance of 
manner and graceful speech ; he carried this even 
into the daily walks of life, and would converse with 
a child with as much courtesy as to a statesman. 
He possessed a most musical voice, and whenever 
he read the service at old Walker's Church, which 
he frequently did in the absence of a preacher, his 
clear, ringing tones and impressive manner ren- 
dered it most pleasing to his hearers. As an ora- 
tor and writer he stood foremost among the literati 
of the day ; none who ever heard him can forget 
his wonderful force of argument, clothed in chaste 
and beautiful language ; too polite to attack his 
opponent with vituperative epithets while on the 
hustings, he would win the applause of even his 
bitterest political foes by his graceful and facetious 
expressions in opposing debate. 

At the age of seventy-five Mr. Rives passed away, 
his county, State, and country at large losing a citi- 
zen who for brilliancy of mind, shrewdness in diplo- 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

macy, and force of character has scarcely been 
equalled. In the name of William Cabell Rives 
we find another noble family of Virginia, that of 
Cabell ; this is for his mother, who was the daugh- 
ter of the celebrated Dr. William Cabell, whose 
father, also Dr. William Cabell, first of the family, 
was surgeon in the British navy, and settled in 
Virginia somewhere about 1720 or 1725. It is 
said he owned twenty-five thousand acres of land 
on James River, in the counties of Nelson and 
Amherst. 

The Cabells have always been highly distin- 
guished for their learning, having held many im- 
portant positions in the State. Dr. William Cabell, 
Jr., represented his district in Congress. He died 
upon his fine estate. Union Hill, in Nelson County, 
the mansion of which is said to have resembled 
Mount Vernon in appearance, though it was much 
larger. Mrs. William C. Rives was none the less 
prominent as a Virginia matron ; by her gentle 
grace of manner and winning conversational 
powers she gave a charm to the Castle Hill cir- 
cle which has not been since seen. She possessed 
a fluent, gifted pen, from which emanated several 
works, one a charming Virginia story, " Home 
and the World," and an " Epitome of the Bible" 
for children. Her efforts were all for " doing 
good" to those around her and to ameliorate the 
hardships of life to those less fortunate. Her great 
life-work was the erection and support of the 
handsome Gothic stone church which stands in 

sight of the old homestead ; for this she devoted 

211 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

many years of patient labor, exerting her pen in 
touching appeals, that this " House of God" might 
be completed according to her original design, 
which was a great innovation upon the rude 
structures called " churches" of that day. It now 
stands complete, a lasting monument to her pious 
zeal and a blessing to many future generations. 
The children of Mr. and Mrs. William C. Rives 



are 



Hon. Francis Robert Rives, of New York. He was 
secretary of the United States Legation at London 
under Hon. Edward Everett as minister, 1842-45. 
He married, in 1848, Matilda Antonia Barclay, of 
New York City. Their six children are : George 
Lockhart Rives; married, first, Caroline Kean, of New 
Jersey, 1873; second, Mrs. Belmont, of New York. 
Ella Louisa Rives; married David King, Jr., of New- 
port, Rhode Island, 1875. Francis Robert Rives, Jr. ; 
married Georgia Fellows, of New York, 1 879. Con- 
stance Rives ; married Mr. Borland. Maud Rives ; 
married Walker Breese Smith, of New York, 1882. 
Reginald William Rives ; married, and has issue. 

William Cabell Rives, Jr., of Newport, Rhode Island ; 
born 1825; died 1890. He married, 1849, Grace 
Winthrop Sears, of Boston, Massachusetts. Their 
three children are : Dr. William C. Rives, of New 
York City ; married, in 1876, Mary F. Rhinelander, 
of New York. Alice Rives ; died single. Arthur 
Landon Rives; not married. David Sears, Esq., of 
Boston, Massachusetts, the father of Mrs. Grace 
Rives, gave the fine bell of Grace Church, Albemarle, 
Virginia, which weighs fifteen hundred and seventy- 
five pounds, and was cast by Mr. Hooper, of Boston, 
in 1855. Though the church was destroyed by fire 
in 1894, yet this bell, which fell more than fifty feet 
from the lofty tower, was uninjured, and still rings 
forth its clear tones each Sabbath. 
212 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Colonel Alfred Landon Rives ; born at Castle Hill, 1 830. 
He married, in 1859, Sadie McMurdo, daughter of 
James B. McMurdo, of Richmond, Virginia. Their 
three children are : Amelie Louise Rives, the author- 
ess ; married, first, John Armstrong Chanler, of New 
York; second. Prince Pierre Troubetzkoy, 1895. 
Gertrude Rives ; married Allen Potts, of Richmond, 
Virginia, 1896. Sarah Landon Rives. Colonel Al- 
fred L. Rives graduated with high honors at the Paris 
Ecole des Fonts et Chaussees, 1850. He assisted Gene- 
ral Meigs as architect in the construction of the new 
Capitol wing at Washington, 1859-60. Also archi- 
tect of Cabin John's Bridge near Washington, D.C., 
being one of the longest single stone arches in the 
country. He served as chief of military engineers 
in the Confederate army with the rank of colonel. 
Since the war he has had charge of the civil engi- 
neer department on the Panama Canal until 1894, 
from which time he has resided at the ancestral home. 
Castle Hill, which he now owns. 

Amelie Louise Rives was born at Paris, July 8, 1832. 
She was named for the wife of Louis Philippe, 
who was a great friend of the family. She was edu- 
cated at the school of Mrs. A. M. Mead, Richmond, 
Virginia, and also studied in Paris in 1850. In 1854 
she married Henry Sigourney, of Boston, Massachu- 
setts. She and her husband with their three young- 
est children were lost at sea by the sinking of the 
** Villedu Havre," November 22, 1873. Their only 
surviving child, Henry Sigourney, Jr., is now of Bos- 
ton, Massachusetts. There were few women in this 
country more gifted with love of art, music, and lit- 
erature than Mrs. Sigourney. As an artist she stood 
above the ordinary ranks, as specimens of her brush 
testify. As a musician she was pronounced by her 
teacher, the celebrated Meyerbeer, as beyond his in- 
struction. As a linguist in the ancient and modern 
languages. Professor George S. Hale, of Boston, her 
teacher, said she went far ahead of any female in this 
213 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

country. And for beauty the great artist Guillaume 
pronounced her to possess the most perfect form and 
features that had ever sat to him. 
5. Ella Rives was the youngest of the Hon. William C. 
Rives's daughters. She with her sister visited France 
in 1849, and enjoyed the high advantages of the 
foreign schools. She never married, but lived most 
of the time at Castle Hill, striving with her mother 
to smooth the rough path of life to the surrounding 
poor. In after-years she built a beautiful little villa. 
Beau Val, on a portion of the Castle Hill estate, near 
Cobham Station, and there lived for a time, to make 
happy those whom she had befriended. She died in 
1 89 1, her grave being marked by a massive cross in 
the Grace Church cemetery. 

Readers of contemporary literature will readily 
recall the brilliant entry into the world of letters 
made by the Princess Troubetzkoy some ten or 
fifteen years ago. As Amelie Rives she scored an 
almost instant success by the publication of her 
first story, "A Brother to Dragons." This ex- 
quisite little bit of fiction, appearing under the 
distinguished chaperonage of the Atlantic Monthly^ 
caught the popular fancy at once, and literary 
critics everywhere proclaimed the advent of a new 
and brilliant star in the Southern heavens, a fit 
addition to the rare constellation already glowing 
there. In rather quick succession followed her 
other works, — " The Farrier Lass O' Piping Peb- 
worth," " Virginia of Virginia," " Nurse Crumpet 
Tells the Story," " Herod and Mariamne," " The 
Quick or the Dead V " Asmodeus," " Athelwold," 
"The W^itness of the Sun," "Barbara Dering," 

" According to St. John," " Tanis the Sang Digger," 

214 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

and recently "A Damsel Errant," besides a number 
of short stories and poems. Of all these none so 
increased her fame as " The Quick or the Dead*?" 
published by the Lippincotts, a story of intense 
word-painting, such unconventional freedom, and 
so pronounced in its realism that it instantly be- 
came the sensation of the hour. Its publication 
brought forth a torrent of criticism, and while 
much of this was adverse in its tenor, the fame of 
the daring young authoress spread all the more, 
and the presses, " working day and night, could 
not possibly supply the demand." 

Perhaps her next most famous work was " Herod 
and Mariamne," wholly different in theme, and 
incomparably superior to " The Quick or the 
Dead *?" It is a drama of wonderful strength and 
rare brilliancy for one so young, and is undoubtedly 
the very flower of her genius. " Athelwold," while 
not so ambitious an effort as its predecessor, is also 
a drama of great talent, and makes the reader 
wonder why its fair creator should ever quit this 
especial field in which her genius seems to excel. 
As an example of simple touching pathos, " Vir- 
ginia of Virginia" has few equals in Southern 
literature ; while " The Farrier Lass O' Piping Peb- 
worth" and, indeed, many of its associates, are 
richly gemmed with similes of extreme beauty 
and appropriateness. Her latest book, " A Dam- 
sel Errant," also published by the Lippincotts, is 
still another departure from the author's previous 
methods, being a romance of mediaeval France. 

Princess Troubetzkoy still writes for the maga- 
215 



HISTORIC HOMES 

zines and is still popular with their readers. If 
she has some adverse critics she also has many 
warm admirers, and these latter must ever delight 
to dwell upon the various attributes of her genius, 
her great talent for vivid word-painting, her artistic 
value of perspective, her accurate setting of his- 
toric incidents, her wonderful intuitive powers of 
perception, and the innate nobility of her ideals. 

Castle Hill still sits in calm repose, clothed 
with its intensely interesting associations and tra- 
ditions, when its halls would be filled with many 
distinguished gatherings of the loved, the gifted, 
and the noble of our land, as well as from foreign 
shores. Here true beauty and grace were wont to 
be displayed ; here the poetry of song with the 
charm of social intercourse heard ; here every tree 
and shrub are linked with hallowed associations, 
where 'neath waving boughs and winding walks 
the noble countenance and handsome form of 
Presidents, statesmen, generals, authors, scientists, 
and divines have been seen ; all make this historic 
old spot a real Mecca, where the lover of true 
genius and noble worth can worship. 

We rejoice that Castle Hill has been so sacredly 
preserved with all its original surroundings. It 
stands like a monument to mark the connecting 
link between the past, with all its stirring heroic 
events of the infant colony, and the present age 
of wonderful advance in architecture, science, and 
art, and as the years roll on it will become inefFace- 
ably dear to the heart of the most remote family 
descendant as well as to every Virginian. 

216 



1 



KESWICK 

THE HOME OF THE PAGES 

NEXT to Castle Hill on the north-east comes 
the Keswick plantation, being that por- 
tion of the Walker tract as given by 
Hon. Francis Walker, of Castle Hill, to his 
eldest daughter, Jane Frances Walker, who mar- 
ried Dr. Mann Page. This farm is separated 
from that of Castle Hill by the public road, which 
crosses the mountain at Turkey Sag gap, which 
was once much travelled, but since has fallen into 
disuse and is almost impassable. Keswick farm 
was formerly called Turkey Hill, probably from 
the name of the gap, or the number of wild tur- 
keys there always found ; but after the settlement 
here by Dr. Page it was named Keswick, doubt- 
less for the home of the poet Southey in Cumber- 
land County, England, which sits at the foot of 
the Skiddaw Mountain, which rises on its north 
side ; this present Keswick has also a high moun- 
tain (Peter's) to the north, while the mansion is 
surrounded by undulating hills on each side which 
screen it from view until the summit of these hills 
is reached, when it breaks upon the approaching 
visitor, seated in the beautiful valley below. 

The old Turkey Hill plantation contained origi- 
nally three thousand seven hundred acres of the 

217 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Walker's tract, extending from the summit of 
Peter's Mountain nearly to the Louisa line. The 
house, which at first was quite small, sits upon a 
gently sloping hill crowned with a dense growth 
of oaks and locust-trees. The lawn is extensive 
and covered with waving grass, while at the foot 
of the hill bubbles a sparkling spring of never- 
failing water, which has been used for several gen- | 
erations, the water being " toted" up the hill by 
the numerous blacks. The first house of any 
consequence was built by Dr. Page about the year 
1818. It consisted simply of a double log house 
of four rooms ; afterwards this was plastered and 
weather-boarded, making an exceedingly warm 
and comfortable house. In 1832 the front or 
frame part as now seen was added, being one story 
and a half high, with a wide centre hall. In 1849- 
50 this again was remodelled and improved, as 
shown in the cut. The front rooms are spacious 
and quite out of proportion to those above, which 
in buildings of that day were quite small, but 
served the family quite amply as sleeping apart- 
ments. Much of the furniture of the present 
house is antique, some having been brought from 
England at an early period ; among which is still 
standing the family clock, brought over by Dr. 
Thomas Walker, which continues to mark the 
time with accuracy, though the rawhide strings of 
its massive weights have never been removed, and 
is perhaps the best preserved " grandfather's" clock 
in the country. The Pages still keep sacred many 

relics of their ancient and noble family, which can 

218 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

, here be seen, such as books, papers, and docu- 
! ments musty with age, which bear the handwriting 
'■ of kings, governors. Presidents, Indian chiefs, and a 
host of eminent statesmen and men of profession. 
Adjoining the lawn is a large garden, in one por- 
tion of which was once the family burying-ground, 
but which has been removed to the Grace Church 
cemetery, where the graves are marked by hand- 
some stones. 

" The Genealogy of the Page Family," as given 
by R. C. M. Page, of New York, presents a most 
complete and interesting account of this famous 
family, to which we refer the reader more particu- 
I larly. We will give, however, a brief extract from 
it, showing the direct descent of the " Keswick" 
Page family. 

Colonel John Page, first of the family in Vir- 
ginia, was the son of Francis Page, of Middlesex 
County, England. He came to Virginia, and set- 
tled at Williamsburg about 1650. He died in 
1692 ; his tombstone, with inscription, is still to be 
seen in the old graveyard at Williamsburg, Virginia. 
He was " One of His Majesties' Council in the Do- 
minion of Virginia," and was very prominent in 
I its early governance. Colonel John Page married 
Alice Luckin, also of England ; they had two 
sons, Francis and Matthew, both born at Williams- 
burg, Virginia. Captain Francis Page was clerk of 
the House of Burgesses, 1688. He married Mary 
Diggs, daughter of Edward Diggs, of Hampton, 
Virginia ; they had but one child, a daughter, who 

: married John Page, a lawyer, and died without 

219 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

children. The second son of Colonel John Page, 
Matthew Page, settled at Rosewell, Gloucester 
County, Virginia. He was called " Honorable 
Collonell Mathew Page, Esq.," who was one of 
His Majesty's Council in Virginia, and died 1703. 
He married Mary Mann, daughter of John Mann, 
of Gloucester County, Virginia. They had four 
children, three of whom died young ; the sur- 
viving son, Mann Page, was a member of the 
Colonial Council under George I., and built the 
celebrated mansion Rosewell, on the York River. 
He died in 1730. He married, first, Judith 
Wormley, daughter of Hon. Ralph Wormley, 
secretary of the colony ; second, Judith Carter, 
daughter of the celebrated Robert Carter, com- 
monly called " King Carter," of Crotoman, Lan- 
caster County. By his first marriage were three 
children, only one of which left issue, Maria, who 
was the grandmother of Governor Mann Ran- 
dolph, of Edgehill. By his second wife, Judith 
Carter, were six children. The second son, John 
Page, was born at Rosewell, 1720 ; he married 
Jane Bird, of Westover, James River, 1746, and 
died 1 780 ; he was also one of the Virginia Coun- 
cil. They had fifteen children, eleven of whom 
married and settled in different parts of the State. 
His fourth son and sixth child. Carter Page, was 
born 1758; he removed to Willis' Fork, Cumber- 
land County, Virginia, where he settled in 1783. 
He married, first, Mary Carey, and second, Lucy, 
daughter of Governor Thomas Nelson, of York- 
town, Virginia, in 1799. He served as major in 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

the Revolutionary war, and was aide-de-camp to 
General Lafayette ; he was also one of the com- 
mittee to receive him when on his visit to Rich- 
mond, Virginia. He died in 1825. 

From his first marriage there were eight children; 
his fifth son and sixth child was Dr. Mann Page, 
of Keswick, who was born at the " Fork," Oc- 
tober 26, 1791 . He married Jane Frances Walker, 
of Castle Hill, on December 12, 1815; the mar- 
riage taking place in Richmond, Virginia, at the old 
Virginia Tavern, which faced the Capitol Square, 
opposite St. Paul's Church, and was then the swell 
hotel of the city, which was kept by Mrs. Colonel 
Hugh Nelson, her maternal grandmother. The 
old tavern afterwards passed into the hands of Cap- 
tain Thomas Nelson until he removed from the 
city. 

The daughter of Mrs. Hugh Nelson, Maria, lost 
her life in the burning of the Richmond Theatre 
in 1811, the fire being distinctly seen from the 
Virginia Tavem, several of whose guests were also 
victims. 

Dr. Page graduated at Hampden-Sidney College, 
and also at the Medical College at Philadelphia, in 
1813. He practised medicine for a while in Rich- 
mond, until his marriage, when he removed to his 
wife's estate in Albemarle County. Dr. Page was 
one of the distinguished citizens of the county, 
who sat with General Lafayette at the dinner 
given him in 1824 by the citizens of Albemarle 
at the University of Virginia, and his name appears 
in connection with that of Hon. William C. Rives 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

in many of the church records, showing him to 
have been a zealous supporter of the church. 

Dr. Page did not enter very largely into the prac- 
tice of his profession while in the county, not wish- 
ing to intrude upon that of his wife's kinsman, Dr. 
Thomas Meriwether, but preferred the cultivation 
of his large and profitable farm. He was a man 
of commanding stature, having a kind, benevolent 
countenance, and most entertaining in conversa- 
tion. He died and was buried at Keswick, May 
15, 1850. 

Jane Frances Walker, his wife, was, like her 
sister Judith, quite brilliant in mind, but possessed 
an extremely reserved and gentle disposition, thus 
exhibiting more plainly the traits of her Nelson 
kin, being much like her mother, Jane Byrd Nel- 
son, both in appearance and manner. She died 
February 7, 1873, having survived her husband 
twenty-three years. 

By the union of Dr. Mann Page and Jane 
Frances Walker were twelve children : 

1. Maria Page; died unmarried. 

2. Ella Page ; lived to be sixty-four years of age and died 

single. 

3. Francis Walker Page, eldest son; born 1820; died 1846; 

married Anna E., daughter of Benjamin F. Cheese- 
man, of New York, leaving one son, Frank Walker 
Page, now professor of music at Staunton, Virginia. 

4. Carter Henry Page; born 1822; married Leila, 

daughter of Captain William Graham, of Baltimore, 
Maryland. Their children are : Leila G. Page, 
born 1858; died 1894. William Graham Page; born 
i860. Is a lawyer of Charlottesville, Virginia. 
Carter H. Page, Jr. ; born 1864; civil engineer of 
222 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Philadelphia, Mary Bowdin Page; born 1866; 
married Mr. Gilbert Bird, of England. 

5. John Cary Page; born 1824; died 1826. 

6. Frederick Winslow Page; born 1826; now libra- 

rian of the University of Virginia ; married, first, 
Anne Kinloch, daughter of Dr. Thomas Meriwether, 
of Kinloch, and great-granddaughter of Governor 
Thomas Nelson, of Yorktown, Virginia. They 
had seven children: Jane Walker; born 1851 ; 
married Thomas W. Lewis, of Castalia. Eliza M. ; 
born I 853 ; died single, 1873. Annie Nelson ; born 
1855; married, 1875, Nat Coleman, of Halifax 
County, Virginia. Frederick K. ; born 1857 ; mar- 
ried Flora Lewis, of Albemarle, Virginia. Wil- 
liam Douglas; born 1859; '^^^^ 1878. Evelyn 
Byrd ; born 1862; married John Coleman, of Hali- 
fax County, Virginia. Mildred Nelson; born 1865 ; 
resides in New York. 

7. Jane Walker Page; died unmarried, 1845, aged seven- 

teen. She was quite talented. 

8. Mann Page, Jr. ; married Mary Ann Hobson, of Pow- 

hatan County, Virginia. They lived on a part of 
Keswick farm, near the mountain ; he was a fine 
scholar and taught at the Keswick School, 1849. 
He died 1864, leaving one daughter, Charlotte 
Nelson Page. 

9. Charlotte Nelson Page; born at Turkey Hill, 1832; 

died at Kinloch, of typhoid fever, 1844, unmarried. 
She was like her sister, Jane Walker, very bright in 
mind. She attended Mrs. A. M. Mead's school in 
Richmond with her cousins Amelie and Ella Rives, 
of Castle Hill. 

10. William Wilmer Page; born 1835; died 1857, aged 

twenty-two. 

11. Thomas Walker Page; born April 18, 1837; died 5th 

of June, 1887, aged fifty. Married, in 1861, Nan- 
nie Watson, daughter of James Morris, of Sylvania, 
Green Springs, Louisa County, Virginia. He suc- 
ceeded to the homestead after the death of his 
223 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

mother in 1873. He, like his father, was very 
active in the church, and for many years w^as w^arden 
and treasurer of Grace Church. The children of 
Thomas Walker Page are Ella Rives Page, born in 
1862; James Morris Page, A.M. and Ph.D. of 
Leipsic, Germany; born 1864; principal of the 
Keswick School, now professor of mathematics at 
the University of Virginia. Thomas Walker Page, 
Jr., A.M., assistant principal of Keswick School. 
Constance Morris Page; born 1869. Mann Page; 
born 1871. Susan Morris Page; born 1878. 
12. Dr. Richard Channing Moore Page, last child and 
eighth son of Dr. Mann Page, was born 2d of 
January, 1841, at Turkey Hill. Removed to New 
York City in 1867; married, in 1874, ^^s. Eliza- 
beth Fitch, widow of the Hon, Richard Henry 
Winslow, of New York. Dr. Page is quite emi- 
nent as a physician and has a lucrative practice in 
New York City. He is quite literary, and is the 
author of the " Genealogy of the Page Family," 
which embraces that also of the Walker, Nelson, 
Pendleton, and Randolph families. Other writings 
upon medical and scientific subjects have emanated 
from his pen. He has spent much time in Europe, 
is fond of the arts, and has adorned his beautiful 
residence in New York with some of the choicest 
paintings of the old masters, the beauty of which is 
only exceeded by that of his charities and liberality 
to those around him. He has no children. Since 
writing the above, the death of Dr. Channing Page 
has been announced in the New York papers. 

It will be observed that there has been a Mann 

Page in nearly every branch of the family from 

the first Mann Page, of Rosewell, on the York, 

1691, son of Hon. Matthew Page and Mary 

Mann, who was an heiress, born 1672, and died 

1 707 ; from her the name of Mann descended. 

224 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

The widow of Thomas W. Page now resides at 
the Keswick farm. 

There has always been a school at Keswick for 
boys. Dr. Mann Page from the first spared no 
expense in procuring the best teachers for the 
home education of his children, and when grown, 
in sending them to the best colleges that the State 
afforded. All ot his six sons were highly educated 
and fitted for life. We extract from the " Page" 
book the following interesting synopsis of the 
schools held at the homestead or near by, as it 
records the names of prominent men now living. 
One thing to be noted of the Keswick School 
was its bounteous table, which always groaned 
with the abundance of the farm ; the boys were 
always kept fat, and its luxurious living added to 
the watchful, tender care of its generous mistress, 
Mrs. Jane Page, made Keswick always an attractive 
place for them, and from which they would leave 
with great reluctance. 

The first school as recorded is that of — 
" 1831-32. — William W. Hawkins taught for 
a short time at the old Bentivoglio Tavern, which 
was kept at that time by Joseph W. Campbell. 
The school was then removed to a log house in the 
woods near by, called the ' Tick Hill Academy.' 
Among the pupils were Frank W. Page, Carter 
H. Page, James Parish and John T. Parish (twin- 
brothers), Reuben Gordon, William F. Gordon, Jr., 
Lewis Miller, and others. Mr. John T. Parish 
died in New York a few years ago a millionaire. 
The old Bentivoglio Tavern, called 'Old Benti* 
15 225 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

for short, stood on the south side of the public 
road, about a quarter of a mile east of the mouth 
of the Turkey Sag. The latter is the name of 
the public road that runs north-west over the 
mountains, along Feather-Bed Lane, across Tur- 
key Run, and through Turkey Gap. The tavern 
was originally built by Hon. Francis Walker, of 
Castle Hill, for the accommodation of travellers 
in those days. It has long since gone to ruin, and 
nothing but a depression in the ground now re- 
mains to mark the original site. The post-ofRce 
at Lindsay's turnout on the railroad, some two 
miles distant, is known as Bentivoglio. This and 
other beautiful Italian names for places in the 
neighborhood, such as Modina and Monticello, 
were doubtless given by Italian laborers imported 
in early times by Thomas Jefferson for the pur- 
pose of introducing grape-culture." 

This is a mistake ; Mr. Jefferson named Monti- 
cello himself Many of his Italian laborers, how- 
ever, whose descendants are still among us, did 
give names to their homes, such as Colle, Porto 
Bello, and Bentivoglio. 

" 1832-33. — Mr. Crawford taught at the same 
place with the same scholars. Crawford was an 
exhorter in the Baptist Church and used the 
hickory freely. The boys were much afraid of 
him. Sometimes he would be absent the whole 
day preaching and the boys would be afraid to go 
home. In the evening he would return, and the 
whole school be drawn up in line in the public 
road and put through a course of spelling. 

226 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

" 1833-34. — James L. Gordon taught at Edge- 
worth, the residence of his father, General William 
F. Gordon, with much the same scholars. 

" 1 834-35. — William W. Hawkins rented Ben- 
tivoglio Tavern and taught school again, Mr. 
Campbell having left. The scholars were nearly 
the same. 

" ^835-36. — Mr. Provost, a graduate of Prince- 
ton, New Jersey, taught at Castle Hill, the residence 
of Hon. William C. Rives. There were a limited 
number of pupils, among whom were Frank W. 
Page, Carter H. Page, Frederick W. Page, Francis 
R. Rives, and William C. Rives, Jr. Provost was 
one of the best teachers. He also courted all the 
marriageable girls in the neighborhood. 

" 1836-37. — Edwin Hall, of Maine, a pupil of 
the poet Longfellow and a graduate of Bowdoin, 
taught at Bentivoglio. Among the pupils were 
Frank W. Page, Carter H. Page, Frederick W. 
Page, Reuben Gordon, William Gordon, Henry 
Miclin, Johnson Miclin, and Lewis Miller. 

" 1837-38. — Giles Waldo, a graduate of Yale, 
taught at Bentivoglio. The scholars were the 
same, with the addition of William Anderson 
and Richard Anderson, of Richmond, Virginia, 
as boarders. 

" 1838-39. — Mr. Janes, of Burlington, Ver- 
mont, taught at Bentivoglio. Among the scholars 
were Robert W. Nelson, W. Douglas Meriwether, 
William C. Rives, Jr., Lewis Miller, William Lewis 
(colonel), the brothers William, Richard, and Jack 

Anderson, Carter and Frederick Page. 

227 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

" i839"'40- — Jacob Belville, of Princeton, taught 
at Bentivoglio with the same pupils, except R. W. 
Nelson, William and Richard Anderson. 

" 1840-41-42. — James Chisholm, of Harvard, 
taught at Keswick in the old school-house down 
in the lot. Among the scholars were Frederick 
W. Page, Mann Page, Jr., Wilmer Page, Lindsay 
Walker, George and Charles Gordon (twin-brothers), 
Alexander Gordon, and Alfred Rives. 

" 1842-43. — Thomas W. Cattell, of New Jersey, 
graduate of Princeton, taught at the same place. 
The scholars were Frederick Mann, Wilmer and 
Tom Page, George, Charles Churchill, and Alex- 
ander Gordon, and William C. Cattell. 

" 1843-44. — George Jeffery, of Cambridge, Eng- 
land, taught at the same place, with the same 
scholars, except Frederick W. Page. It was about 
this time that F. W. Meerbach, a famous German 
pianist, gave music lessons to young ladies in the 
neighborhood. Mr. Jeffery was a very eccentric 
man, and the two had a quarrel, resulting in Mr. 
Jeffery going next session to Edgeworth." 

We may further add that the above German, 
Meerbach, was a music teacher in Mrs. A. M. 
Mead's large seminary in Richmond, and was rec- 
ommended by her to Dr. Page. He was very 
irritable, and got into several fracases in Richmond. 
The " eccentric Jeffery" we have already spoken 
of in our article on Cismont. 

" 1844-45. — George Jeffery at Edgeworth, the 
residence of General Gordon ; the same boys ex- 
cept William C. Cattell. 

228 



III 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

" 1845-46. — Mr. Taylor, a Princeton man, 
taught at Edgeworth with the same scholars. 

" 1846-47-48. — Frederick W. Page taught at 
Keswick, in the old school-house in the lot. The 
scholars were Frank Hopkins Churchill and Alex- 
ander Gordon, Mann, Wilmer, Thomas, and Chan- 
ning Page. The latter wore a check apron, much 
to his annoyance. 

" 1848-49. — Calvin S. Maupin, of North Caro- 
lina, taught at Edgeworth, with the same boys ex- 
cept Channing, who was too young to walk there. 
Mr. Maupin was not a very literary man, nor did 
he much enjoy conversation at meals, being usu- 
ally blessed with a ravenous appetite. Thus, while 
General Gordon was telling some anecdote about 
President Jackson while he was a member of Con- 
gress, Mr. Maupin interrupted him in the middle 
of the most interesting part by remarking, ' Gen- 
eral, you got my bread !' 

" 1849-50. — Mann Page taught at Keswick. 
The scholars were Churchill, Alexander, and Mason 
Gordon, Henry Lewis, Wilmer, Thomas, Chan- 
ning Page, and Edward C. Mead, who was then 
living at Cismont. 

"1850-51. — Dabney T. C. Davis taught at 
Keswick. He was a graduate of the University 
of Virginia. The scholars were John and Hugh 
Nelson, twin-brothers and boarders, Wilmer, 
Thomas, and Channing Page, Churchill, Alex- 
ander, and Mason Gordon, John and Rice Mc- 
Gee, also twin-brothers. 

" 1851-52. — Samuel S. Carr, of the University of 
229 



HISTORIC HOMES 

Virginia, taught at Keswick. The scholars were 
the same except Churchill Gordon. Lewis McGee, 
brother of John and Rice, was a scholar this year. 
They came from Bedford County, and boarded at 
Logan, the residence of Captain M. Lewis Walker." 
After this the school was discontinued at Kes- 
wick until about the year 1887, when it was re- 
vived by Dr. James M. Page, assisted by his 
brother, Thomas W. Page, Jr. They enlarged 
and added several buildings for boarders, and under 
the name of Keswick School it attained quite a 
celebrity, numbering some thirty pupils. Dr. 
James Page has since been made professor of 
mathematics at the University of Virginia. After 
the discontinuance of the school, Thomas W. 
Page, Jr., went to Europe, graduating at Leipsic, 
Germany, with high honors, having taken the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy, summa cum laude^ 
which is rarely accomplished. Dr. Thomas Page 
was engaged for some time, while in London, col- 
lecting material for a book concerning the relations 
of " Work and Wages in England immediately 
after the Period of the Black Death." Since his 
return to this country he has been appointed pro- 
fessor in the University of California. 



230 



EDGEWORTH 

THE HOME OF THE GORDONS 

IN 1755, Dr. Thomas Walker, of Castle Hill, 
sold or gave about four hundred acres of his 
land as a glebe for the churches then estab- 
lished at Walker's in Albemarle, Trinity in Louisa, 
and one in Orange County, This glebe tract 
joined the lands of Captain James Lindsay, and it 
is believed that most of the land purchased for this 
purpose was from him, the remainder being given 
by Dr. Walker, whose daughter had married Rev. 
Matthew Maury, son of the first pastor of Walker's 
Church, who lived here until his death in 1808. 

Upon this tract, which altogether contained 
nearly one thousand acres, was built a parsonage 
by the several vestries, with all necessary out-build- 
ings, which, we may presume, were at that day 
nothing more than rude log cabins erected in the 
wild forest. 

Here the Rev. James Maury, the first pastor of 
the three churches, lived. He was quite a promi- 
nent and able man during his day, preaching for a 
large circuit in the surrounding counties, and also 
teaching a small school located near his residence, 
to which Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe attended 
when boys, besides others who afterwards became 
distinguished men. He was quite learned in the 

231 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

classics, as young Jefferson wrote to his school-boy 
friend Governor John Page that he was a " fine 
scholar," and evidently he left his impress upon 
these young minds, to which they owed much of 
their success in after-life. The old log school-house 
in which he taught stood in one corner of the Edge- 
worth yard, the site of which is now marked by a 
hedge of cedars. The Rev. James Maury married 
a Miss Walker, supposed to have been a cousin of 
Dr. Walker, through whose influence he became 
rector of the parish. Mr. Maury had a family of 
ten children, most of whom married and scattered 
over the State, their descendants filling many high 
and honored positions. He died in 1 769, and was 
buried under the pulpit of old Walker's Church, 
where he had so faithfully preached for many years. 
There now stands a monument in front of the pres- 
ent Grace Church, erected to his memory, mark- 
ing the spot where once stood the old Colonial 
church, with the following inscription : 

** Sacred to the memory 

of 

Rev. James Maury, 

First Pastor of Walker's Parish. 

Born April 8th, 1717 ; 

Died June 9th, 1769. 

This monument was erected by Elizabeth Walker as 

a tribute to his Piety, Learning, and Worth." 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, Rev. 

Matthew Maury, who lived at the glebe, and 

taught in the same log school-house as his father. 

He married, in 1773, Elizabeth Walker (called 

232 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

Betsy), fourth daughter of Dr. Thomas Walker. 
From him descended the Hon. Matthew F. Maury, 
the " Pathfinder of the Seas," whose memory all 
nations delight to honor. It was not far from the 
glebe that the Rev. James Waddell, the blind 
preacher, lived, who was made famous by Wil- 
liam Wirt. Both of these ministers were quite in- 
timate, and when the wife of Mr. Maury died he 
invited Mr. Waddell to preach her funeral sermon, 
there being no Episcopal minister beside himself 
in the county and but few at that time in the State. 

The Rev. Mr. Waddell married Mary Gordon, 
the daughter of Colonel James Gordon. She was 
the sister of General William F. Gordon, who 
afterwards owned Edgeworth. By this marriage 
Mr. Waddell obtained a portion of the original 
Gordon tract, which embraced the town of Gor- 
donsville, and which was named in honor of Colo- 
nel James Gordon, one of the Revolutionary 
heroes, who commanded one of the Virginia regi- 
ments at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, 
Virginia. 

Rev. Mr. Waddell also taught a school near 
Gordonsville, at which Meriwether Clarke and 
Governor Barbour attended. 

In 1802 the law authorizing the sale of the 
glebe lands throughout Virginia having passed, 
after the death of Mr. Maury, in 1808, the prop- 
erty was sold to a Mr. Ragland, and afterwards 
passed into the hands of General William F. Gor- 
don, who moved there in 1835. 

General Gordon occupied for a while the origi- 
233 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

nal frame house then standing, but which was soon 
after destroyed by fire, after which, about the year 
1837, he built the present handsome brick struc- 
ture, which is two stories in height, with double 
rooms and wide hall on each floor, besides a large 
cellar. It formed at that date an imposing build- 
ing, being much superior to that of his neighbors, 
and its spacious apartments became the scene of a 
refined and elegant hospitality. 

General Gordon was one of the foremost men 
of his day. He had served with great distinction 
in the war of 1812, and afterwards represented his 
county in the Virginia Legislature, and became 
Senator from Virginia in the United States Con- 
gress of 1829-35. In recognition of his able ser- 
vices he was tendered a public dinner in Amherst 
County, and had other honors bestowed upon him. 
General Gordon was always a stanch Whig and 
warmly sustained the election of Mr. Clay, but 
after that gentleman's defeat he retired from politics 
and devoted himself to his farm, making Edge- 
worth noted for its great productions. General 
Gordon was a fine speaker, most entertaining in 
conversation, having a fund of humor and anec- 
dote gathered during a long and eventful political 
life, which made him par excellence a most agreeable 
companion. He always dressed quite plainly, and 
even while in Congress appeared in a suit of home- 
spun made on his farm, to comport with the dress 
of his Southern Congressional brethren, who were 
furious at the passage of the Tariflf law of 1827- 
28, and waved the flag of defiance to the Northern 

234 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

members by dressing in home-made cloth, eating 
their own hominy without the aid of Kentucky 
bacon, and walking rather than ride Western horses. 
General Gordon married Elizabeth Lindsay, the 
daughter of Colonel Reuben Lindsay, who also 
owned large landed possessions along the South- 
West Mountains. She was a woman of great intel- 
ligence, having much of the fire of her Scotch blood. 
She lived to the good old age of ninety-five, dying 
at the home of her youngest son. Mason Gordon, 
Esq., of Charlottesville, in 1886. The sister of 
Mrs. Gordon, Maria Lindsay, married Captain 
Meriwether Lewis Walker, son of "Dr. Tom" 
Walker, of Castle Hill, whose home, called Logan, 
after the Indian chief of that name, was situated 
but two miles from Edge worth. Sarah Walker, 
another daughter of Dr. Walker, married, in 1 778, 
Colonel Reuben Lindsay. She was his first wife. 
Their daughter, Sally Lindsay, married, in 1810, 
her first cousin. Captain James Lindsay, son of 
David Lindsay, who was a brother of Colonel 
Reuben Lindsay. This Captain Lindsay lived at 
the Meadows, another old homestead, which is now 
owned by Colonel John M. Patton, formerly of 
Richmond, Virginia. Captain Lindsay inherited all 
the lands of his father, which almost surrounded the 
EMgeworth farm, and extended even into Louisa 
County. Thus we see by the intermarriage of 
the Walkers, Lindsays, and Gordons these exten- 
sive lands were retained by their descendants for 
several generations, but which have since passed 
entirely out of those families. On the east side of 

235 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Edgeworth were the lands of Loudon Bruce, which 
extended to Gordonsville ; he was famous for his fat 
cattle, which have supplied the markets so long. 

By the marriage of General Gordon and Eliza- 
beth Lindsay were ten children : 

1. James Lindsay Gordon; married, first. Miss Beale ; 

second. Miss Winston. They left no issue. 

2. Reuben Lindsay Gordon ; married Miss Beale, sister 

of the above. Had four daughters and two sons, 
Reuben L. and Alexander T. 

3. William F. Gordon, Jr. ; married Miss Morris. They 

had two sons and three daughters. His sons were 
William F. and James Morris. 

4. George L. Gordon ; now dead. He married Miss 

Daniel, of North Carolina. Had two sons, Armis- 
tead C. and James L. Gordon. 

5. Charles H, Gordon, twin-brother of George ; mar- 

ried, first. Miss Beale. Had one son. Professor 
James B. Gordon, who died in Arkansas, while pro- 
fessor of the Arkansas University. He was a most 
brilliant man. The second wife of Charles was 
Miss Boswell. No issue. 

6. John Churchill Gordon ; married Mary S. Pegram, 

daughter of Edward S. Pegram, of Albemarle, by 
whom he had six sons and three daughters. Dr. J. 
C. Gordon is now a practising physician of Char- 
lottesville, Virginia. 

7. Alexander Tazwell Gordon ; married his cousin. Miss 

Gordon. Had one son and four daughters. 

8. Mason Gordon ; married Miss Hart, of North Caro- 

lina, by whom he had three sons and two daugh- 
ters. His eldest daughter married Thomas L. Rosser, 
Jr., son of General Thomas L. Rosser, of Albemarle, 
who served in the Confederate army. 

9. Maria Gordon. 

10. Hannah Gordon; married, August 16, 1842, at Edge- 
worth, Judge William J. Robertson, of Charlottes- 
236 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

ville, Virginia. Their children were : Elizabeth 
Lindsay, Lucy Gordon, Sally Brand, John McB., 
Maria Gordon (dead), Mary Carter, William Gor- 
don, Nannie Morris (dead), and Reuben Lindsay. 

All of the sons of General Gordon have been 
talented, and, like their father, brilliant orators, 
who have made their mark at the bar, among 
whom we may mention Mason Gordon, Esq., 
now a leading lawyer of Charlottesville, Virginia, 
and the grandson of General Gordon, the Hon. 
James L. Gordon (son of George L. Gordon), 
who is now of New York City, and has become a 
most noted public speaker both North and South. 

As at Keswick, the home of Dr. Page, his near 
neighbor, so it was at Edgeworth, a school was 
always kept up, either at one place or the other, 
the boys of the two families forming quite a large 
school of themselves. The late Judge William J. 
Robertson, of Charlottesville, when a young man, 
taught for a while in the general's family, and while 
there fell in love with the pretty Hannah Gordon. 
The general opposed the match, principally on ac- 
count of their youth, putting Mr. Robertson off 
with the promise of his daughter's hand when he 
was established at the bar. It was not long after 
when the general heard young Robertson make 
his maiden speech in a political contest at Louisa 
Court-House, and being so pleased with his effort 
that he removed all objections to the marriage, 
feeling satisfied that the future of the young man 
would be a brilliant one, which was verified, he 
becoming commonwealth's attorney in 1852 and 

237 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

judge of the Supreme Court of Virginia in 1859. 
He also practised in the Supreme Court of the 
United States, and was considered the most emi- 
nent of the State's judiciary. 

After the death of General Gordon, Edgeworth 
was sold to Dr. Charles Hancock in 1858, who 
paid thirty-six thousand dollars for it. It was a 
magnificent estate at the time ; its twelve hundred 
acres were divided into seven fields of one hun- 
dred acres each, besides more than five hundred 
acres of woodland stretching to the top of Peter's 
Mountain, while surrounding the house was an 
extensive garden and lawn of five acres. In 1859 
Dr. Hancock greatly enlarged the mansion by a 
two-story frame addition to the rear of the brick 
front, thus forming an L in shape. The rooms in 
this fine building were twenty feet square, with 
wide centre hall, and proportionate in height, mak- 
ing it unapproachable by any country-seat in mag- 
nificent dimensions and beauty of finish. The 
farm also was in the highest state of production, 
often yielding fifteen hundred bushels of wheat 
from one field, one thousand barrels of corn, and 
forty thousand pounds of hay during one season ; 
besides having twenty-three horses, twenty milch 
cows, and a vast herd of cattle. For several years 
Dr. Hancock cultivated this fine farm very exten- 
sively, expending large sums upon its improve- 
ment and for the production of large numbers of 
beef cattle for the Confederate army. After the 
war, about 1867, Edgeworth was sold to an Eng- 
lishman named Russell, who accomplished very 

238 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

little with it, and who sold it to its present owner, 
a Mr. Edwards, who resides in England. It is said 
that this fine estate can now be bought for five 
dollars per acre I O tempora ! quid descendit I 

But we turn to contemplate the joyous home of 
Edgeworth as it was, with its jolly set of boys, 
always ready for a frolic, and its teachers as ready 
to join them, with books one day and dancing 
and fox-hunting the next ; or let us look at its 
magnificent halls as filled by welcome guests, 
many of whom were the great men of the day, as 
they sit at the festive board and are entertained by 
the wit and humor of General Gordon. Such 
scenes were frequent, neighbors dropping in sans 
ceremonie^ the girls and boys always welcomed by 
the " old folks" to have a good time, and thus it 
would continue a round of merriment throughout 
the year. 

With Edgeworth we reach nearly the north- 
eastern limit of the South- West Mountains of 
Albemarle, having traced the homes along its 
foot-hills on the eastern side ; but we could con- 
tinue these celebrated homesteads still farther, did 
space permit, even into Orange County, where sits 
at the extreme end of the mountain range the 
residence of James Barbour, one of Virginia's best 
governors ; also that of John Taylor, son of " Old 
Zachary," who was celebrated for his intense De- 
mocracy, and, like Mr. Peter Meriwether, called 
every one a fool who did not believe in Mr. Jef- 
ferson ; and then Richard Taliaferro just opposite, 
who married into the Gilmer family, whose name, 

239 



HISTORIC HOMES 

from the Latin words Talis Ferrum (like iron), or 
the Itahan Tagliari-ferro (to cut with iron), indicated 
the fighting stock of which he sprang, giving to 
Virginia some of her noblest warriors ; but we now 
turn to those in Albemarle which sit along the old 
Machunk Creek, made famous by Indian legend, 
and which forms a part of this traditionary region. 



240 



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75 




COBHAM PARK 

THE RESIDENCE OF THE LATE WILLIAM C. 
RIVES, JR. 

ON an elevated plain, opposite Cobham Sta- 
tion, Chesapeake and Ohio Raihoad, which 
courses at the foot of the South- West 
Mountains from Gordonsville to Charlottesville, 
sits a handsome residence, the top of which can 
but barely be seen from the railroad, so dense 
is the grove of forest-trees surrounding it. This 
is Cobham Park, the residence of the late William 
C. Rives, Jr., of Newport, Rhode Island, second 
son of Hon. William C. Rives, of Castle Hill. 
This lower portion of the Castle Hill plantation 
fell to him in the division of the estate, and here 
he built his beautiful summer residence about the 
year 1855. This original tract, which extends to 
the Louisa County line, contained more than one 
thousand acres, since which Mr. Rives has added 
several more tracts by purchase, and Cobham Park 
now contains two thousand four hundred acres. 
The greater portion of this large area is in original 
forests, which surround the house almost entirely, 
untouched of its gigantic trees, Mr. Rives was 
very tenacious of the noble oaks and pine upon 
his place, which he wished to retain, like the grand 
parks of England. It is said that such was his 
16 241 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

jealous care of them that he would frequently buy 
his firewood elsewhere rather than put the axe into 
his own woods. For the first few years after taking 
possession the farm was extensively cultivated, and 
large crops of corn, wheat, and tobacco were raised, 
but more for clearing the land than for the profit 
derived. Of late years the extensive fields sur- 
rounding the park have been kept in luxuriant 
grass, where herds of fine horses, cattle, and sheep 
are seen. Crossing a rustic bridge which spans the 
Machunk Creek, a park of about twenty acres is 
entered at the foot of a hill, up which the road 
gracefully winds, until the summit is reached, where 
entrance to the lawn proper is made. This park is 
studded with groups of oak, chestnut, poplar, ash, 
and every variety of forest-tree in all their magnifi- 
cence, while between the hills course small rivulets 
and miniature cascades. The lawn itself, which 
embraces several acres, is filled with choice ever- 
greens and shrubbery, which in summer give forth 
a fragrance and beauty truly refreshing. The man- 
sion, which rises in stately proportions amid this 
wealth of luxuriant shade, is more modern in style 
than any of its neighbors. It is a handsome brick 
structure of nearly three stories, with wide portico, 
massive centre chimneys, and ornamental attic win- 
dows, from which a grand view of the entire range 
of mountains is obtained, stretching from Monti- 
cello to Peter's Mountain, a distance of fifteen miles. 
The wood-work of the house is highly finished, 
and was executed by McSparren, an Englishman, 

who had been brought from the North by Mrs. 

242 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

William C. Rives, of Castle Hill, to complete the 
interior of Grace Church. He was a skilled archi- 
tect and most superior workman, far above the 
ordinary mechanic in education. He was famous 
for using very high-sounding words in conversation, 
which would be given forth with a most pompous 
air, and proved quite mystifying to the illiterate. 
He constructed a spiral stairway to the upper stories 
of the Cobham mansion which he intended to be 
the chef-d'oeuvre of his art ; it appeared in its grace- 
ful curves to have no support, and Mrs. Rives sug- 
gested that it would not be safe ; but McSparren, 
with a great flourish, assured her that a hogshead 
of tobacco might be rolled down the stairway 
" without the demolition of the least part, madam ;" 
yet Mrs. Rives insisted on having the lower portion 
closed up, much to his mortification ; thus the 
spiral stair still stands with a closet underneath 
which conceals its fine proportions. His work was 
always full of graceful lines and very ornamental, 
which throughout the mansion is to be seen every- 
where with pleasing effect. Its sixteen rooms are 
spacious and adorned with rich paintings, large 
mirrors, pendant chandeliers, antique oaken furni- 
ture, and all that could embellish and make com- 
plete a refined home. To the right of the mansion- 
house stands a large building containing bath- and 
office-rooms, with a conservatory adjoining, which 
is supplied with water by windmill-power. The 
outer buildings are upon the same complete order, 
which show taste and ornament in design as well 
as judicious care for the comfort of the stock, 

243 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

which is in sharp contrast to Virginia farming of 
the past. 

Cobham Park takes its name from the little 
station on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, 
which is seated a short distance from the foot of 
the hill upon which it sits. Cobham Station was 
named by the Hon. William C. Rives for the vil- 
lage of Cobham, in Surrey County, England. It 
sits upon a part of the Castle Hill tract, and when 
the railroad was completed from Gordonsville to 
this point in 1848, it was celebrated by a grand 
barbecue and speaking in honor of the first step 
taken towards the Ohio River. The writer of this 
can well remember that event, fraught with many 
circumstances which made a deep impression upon 
a young mind. The Hon. William C. Rives, then 
in his prime, and General Bankhead Magruder, 
fresh from the Mexican war, were the speakers. 
After the speaking there was a profusion of eating 
and drinking for the large crowd, and whiskey 
flowed freely, to the detriment of many. There 
had been, however, stowed away a few baskets of 
choice champagne tor the distinguished speakers 
and guests, among whom was Colonel Fontaine, the 
president of the little "Virginia Central Railroad," 
with other officers and dignitaries. During the 
speaking, two wild chaps, Jim Gooch and Jim 
Leach, broke into the room and secured several 
bottles of the choice wine, and when Mr. Rives 
proposed the toasts for the occasion, the two boys 
flourished their bottles in the air, broke the necks 

and poured the wine down their capacious throats 

244 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

much to the amusement of the crowd. A great 
many of the rough mountaineers came a long dis- 
tance to see a locomotive for the first time, and 
when it sounded a shrill blast from its whistle the 
terrified farmers began a hasty retreat for their 
homes, fearing the " durned thing would bust." 

William Cabell Rives, Jr., was bom at Castle 
Hill in 1825. After graduating in the law at the 
University of Virginia he located at Newport, 
Rhode Island. In 1849 ^^ married Grace Win- 
throp Sears, daughter of David Sears, Esq., a 
wealthy banker of Boston, Massachusetts. Their 
children are : 

1. Dr. William C. Rives, of New York City, who mar- 

ried, in 1876, Mary F. Rhinelander, of New York. 

2. Alice Rives, who died single. 

3. Arthur Landon Rives, who lives with his mother. 

Mr. Rives was taller in stature than his father, 
but possessed much of his grace and affability, 
which were always shown towards the most humble 
persons. He was most pleasant and attractive in 
conversation and a most eloquent speaker in public. 
In 1869 he delivered the oration before the Society 
of Alumni of the University of Virginia ; and, as 
his father had done before the strife of the nation 
began, so he, after the conflict was over, raised his 
voice in eloquent words to bring harmony and 
peace between the sections once more. He was a 
most liberal contributor to the little Grace Church, 
near his home, to which his ancestors have always 
been devoted. To his generous aid it owes its 

245 



HISTORIC HOMES 

handsome rectory and grounds, also the extensive 
cemetery grounds surrounding the church. The | 
beautiful marble tablets erected to the memory of I 
his parents and sister, Mrs. Amelie Louise Rives '^ 
Sigourney (who with her husband perished at sea), 
were unfortunately destroyed by the burning of 
the church in 1895. These were also a gift from 
him, and his watchful care was ever manifested for 
the preservation and support of this sacred spot. 
Nor was his liberality confined here, for he entered 
heartily into every public improvement which 
would advance and beautify this favored section 
and ameliorate those around him. 

Such is a faint sketch of one of the many noble 
characters who have dwelt among these hills, whose 
memory will be cherished and remembered with 
delight by the rising generation. He died in 1890. 
A beautiful memorial window now adorns the new 
Grace Church, erected to his memory by his widow. 

Cobham Park is still the home of the family, 
who visit it frequently during the lovely summer 
season, when its hospitable doors are thrown open 
and its grand halls are made to echo the happy 
voices of many visitors from North and South. 
During the winter months its gentle mistress re- 
sides with her son. Dr. W. C. Rives, of New 
York, or at her old home in Boston, Massachu- 
setts. Then lovely Cobham Park sits silent, and, 
like some old English castle, seems to speak in 
tones of sadness of departed days, when its illus- 
trious head gave it a charm and an attraction such 

as is rarely possessed by a Virginia home. 

246 



THE MACHUNK FARMS 

THE CREEK— CAMPBELLS— MACHUNK 

THERE are three old homesteads situated 
along the Machunk Creek standing in all 
their originality of more than a hundred 
years ago. These are The Creek farm, the home 
of Howell Lewis ; Campbells, the home of the 
late Joseph W. Campbell ; and Machunk, the 
home of the Gilmers. It is to be doubted if in 
any other section there can be found three more 
antique and interesting buildings than these now 
standing. Each of them face the Machunk Creek, 
which runs parallel with the South- West Moun- 
tains, and fed by many streams which spring from 
its mountain-sides, causing the creek at times to 
assume the proportions of a river. This famous 
stream, red with Albemarle soil, was named by the 
Indians " Mauchunk," similar to the mountains 
of that name in Pennsylvania ; but the legend is 
still told that the name was derived from an Irish- 
man who was crossing the creek on a log, holding 
in one hand a chunk of fire, which unfortunately 
he dropped in the deep stream, whereupon he 
cried out, " Oh, my chunk ! my chunk !" from 
which circumstance the creek was named ; but 
the name has always been written by the earliest 

inhabitants along its bank " Machunk" It starts 

247 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

not far below Cobham Station on the Chesapeake 
and Ohio Railroad and courses in a south-west 
direction through a fertile and beautiful valley, 
which borders the foot-hills of the mountain range, 
which rise about three miles distant. 

The first of these, The Creek farm, has already- 
been mentioned in our description of Music Hall, 
of which it forms a part. The old building, as 
has been stated, was the first house of Colonel 
John Walker, of Belvoir, and was moved from 
there to Milton by the Hon. Fraiicis Walker, the 
father of Mrs. William C. Rives, of Castle Hill, 
who once lived there. After this it was again 
moved to its present site on the Music Hall tract 
by Thomas Walker Lewis, who first lived there 
when he was married ; afterwards he moved to 
Lego, near Fantops. 

When Captain Terrell, of Music Hall, died this 
place was given to his adopted niece, Sarah Stan- 
ford, who came to Virginia when quite a child and 
lived at Music Hall until her marriage with Howell 
Lewis, when they went to live at The Creek, where 
they raised a large and interesting family. 

The old building still stands clothed in its origi- 
nal rough boards, and presenting much the appear- 
ance of the first Clover Fields house, a cut of 
which has been given. The front is sheltered by 
a long low porch, from the eaves of which rises 
a steep roof, dotted with dormer-windows. Each 
timber, brick, and nail speaks in silent words of a 
once happy period, and its well-worn floors show 

where many generations have trod. 

248 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

The next farm to this, half-way between Cob- 
ham and Keswick, and setting about half a mile 
from the Machunk Creek, is the Campbell man- 
sion. This old building forms a very antique 
and pretty picture as seen from the distant rail- 
road. Its date of building is possibly anterior to 
the Creek house, but it presents even a better state 
of preservation. The putting on a new roof is 
the only improvement made to the old building 
for a century. Its original shape and appearance 
is still unchanged, as when seen by the writer fifty 
years ago, with its lofty roof, towering chimneys, 
queer-shaped rooms, and narrow stairway. This 
is perhaps the best preserved of the old Colonial 
type of buildings in this neighborhood, and should 
be preserved in picture and song for future genera- 
tions. 

When this house was built or by whom erected 
is not known. More than sixty years ago Mr. 
Joseph W. Campbell, who had married Sarah 
Rogers, the sister of Lewis Rogers, of Paris, 
France (who gave the land to his sister), came here 
to live. Most of this large body of land stretching 
along the Machunk Creek was an original growth 
of the finest timber. When, in 1848, the building 
of the great Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad was 
first begun at Gordonsville towards the Ohio River, 
Mr. Campbell obtained the contract for furnishing 
all the timber required. For this purpose he 
bought and located the first steam saw-mill in the 
county, which was placed near the creek, where 
the railroad was to be built. It was in those days 

249 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

of the old strap-rail, which required long stringers 
of timber to nail it upon, besides cross-ties which 
were to be mortised. It can be seen, therefore, 
the vast quantities of timber required. Besides 
these, he also furnished the timbers for its many- 
bridges and depot buildings, and did also a large 
shipping business after the road was completed. 
As most of the mill-work was done by his many- 
slaves, and being at little expense, Mr. Campbell 
amassed quite a fortune. 

In 1 848, Mr. Campbell was contractor for haul- 
ing all the stone from the quarries at Peachy- 
lorum, near Castle Hill, for the building of Grace 
Church ; but the quantity of stone required was 
so far beyond his expectations that he lost money 
upon the venture ; not being reimbursed for the 
extra work, he never entered the new church 
which his hands had helped to rear. He also 
opened large lime-quarries on his lands, which 
proved quite profitable, and largely beneficial to 
the agriculturist community. Mr. Campbell was 
very active and industrious in all of his pursuits, 
though being very fleshy, weighing nearly three 
hundred pounds ; indeed, he would say, with a 
merry twinkle, that the railroad would have to 
charge his fare by the ton. Notwithstanding his 
great bulk, he was an excellent rider, very fond of 
fox-hunting, and would keep the lead with the 
youngsters. He was always jolly, of a merry dis- 
position, fond of all sports, especially of fishing, 
and lived most bountifully in the luxuries of life. 

His house would be frequently filled with such illus- 

250 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

trious men as Colonel Fontaine, the president of 
the Virginia Central Railroad, Lewis Rogers, the 
millionaire, of Paris, Hon. William C. Rives, 
the Walkers, and principal men of his day, who 
knew his worth. His son, William Campbell, 
succeeded him for a while in the mill business, 
afterwards going West, where he died unmarried. 
His son-in-law, S. F. Sampson, lived at the old 
farm for many years. One daughter. Miss Susan 
Campbell, still survives and lives at the old home- 
stead, which is now worked by his grandson, 
Joseph W. Sampson, who recently married Miss 
Shackleford, of Stony Point, Virginia. 

Mr. and Mrs. Campbell both died the same day, 
and were buried together in the little graveyard 
near their house. 

The Machunk farm comes next in point of in- 
terest ; indeed, it stands in point of age and historic 
memories above any of its compeers along the 
creek. Sitting on a high hill at the head of the 
Machunk valley, at a point where the railroad 
sweeps to the west and the creek to the south, it 
commands one of the most glorious prospects of 
mountain, valley, and stream that are vouchsafed 
to any of the many homes in this section. 

This old place was first settled and owned by the 
Gilmers, a family whose celebrity for its eminent 
men stands forth in brilliant colors on the pages 
of Virginia's history. 

It took its name at an early date from the creek 
which winds through the farm, the spot where the 
incident occurred which we have already narrated is 

251 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

supposed to have been here. At first it was called 
Gilmerton, after the family, but soon after reverted 
to its original name, Mauchunk or Machunk. The 
place was first settled by George Gilmer, son of 
Dr. George Gilmer, of Penn Park, and grandson 
of the first Dr. George Gilmer, of Williamsburg, 
Virginia, who came to Virginia in 1731 and mar- 
ried Mary Peachy Walker, sister of " Dr. Tom" 
Walker, of Castle Hill. George Gilmer married 
a Miss Hudson, and had several sons and daugh- 
ters, — Christopher, John Harmer, Thomas Walker 
Gilmer, governor of Virginia, Juliet, James, Anne, 
all of whom were bom at Machunk. This George 
Gilmer had a brother, Francis Walker Gilmer, the 
first law professor at the University of Virginia, 
having been selected by Mr. Jefferson for that 
position ; he also lived for a time at Machunk, as 
records show that he was the last of the Gilmers 
connected with it, and transferred the place to his 
friend Dabney Minor, who purchased it about 1 830. 
This Dabney Minor married Martha Jefferson 
Terrell, a direct descendant of the Carr, Jefferson, 
and Terrell stock. She was named for her great- 
grandmother, Martha Jefferson, sister of President 
Thomas Jefferson, who had married Dabney Carr, 
the intimate friend of the President. The father 
of Martha Terrell was Richard Terrell, of Ken- 
tucky, who married Lucy, the daughter of Dabney 
Carr. Dabney Minor, of Machunk, was the son 
of James and Mary Minor ; his first wife was 
Eliza Johnson, niece of Hon. William Wirt, the 

historian. Most of these distinguished connections 

252 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

had been visitors to Machunk, making its old halls 
to witness gatherings where genius, wit, and humor 
were displayed, and where, doubtless, many scenes 
of state-craft were enacted. 

Mrs. Martha Minor survived her husband many 
years. During the first deep grief of her widow- 
hood she named the place Retirement, but again 
this did not stick to the old farm, and its old name 
cropped up, and has been retained ever since. 

After the death of Mr. and Mrs. Dabney Minor 
the Machunk farm went to their daughter Lucy, 
who married Colonel Dabney Trice, of Middlesex 
County, Virginia. Colonel Trice bought of the 
heirs that portion of the farm called Grassdale, 
which was not inherited by his wife. This name, 
too, was soon dropped and merged into that of 
Machunk. 

Colonel Trice obtained his cognomen in the old 
militia service. He was a man of great intelli- 
gence, a most successful farmer, and highly es- 
teemed for his happy, genial disposition and culti- 
vated powers. Colonel Trice, his wife, and all of 
their children save two died at Machunk, the sur- 
viving ones being Lucy L., who married Mr. John 
Minor, of Gale Hill, and has recently died, and 
Dr. Dabney Trice, who moved to the West. The 
old mansion stands as it first came from the hands 
of George Gilmer, many years ago. It is a low, 
one-and-a-half storied house, with porticos in front 
and rear ; its lower rooms being larger than usually 
found in buildings of that period, but its upper 
ones are of the same diminutive type, showing the 

253 



HISTORIC HOMES 

economizing of space. Machunk has always been 
noted for its fertility, its rich flowers, its fine gar- 
den, and its extensive meadows stretching far up 
and down the creek, which, when on a rampage, 
would entirely overflow this beautiful valley, giving 
it the appearance of a wide river, which would 
carry destruction before it. 

The Machunk farm has been frequently the 
scene of much refined gayety. The literary tastes 
of Mrs. Trice and her daughters were of the 
highest type, which gave them delight in entertain- 
ing those of similar dispositions. Here the charm 
of bright classic minds, combined with love of 
poetry, song, and music, made this delightful home 
one never to be forgotten. 

Machunk farm has since passed entirely out of 
the Trice family, and is now owned by Mr. Charles 
S. Bowcock, of Keswick, Virginia, a rising and 
prominent young farmer. 



254 



BROAD OAK 

THE HOME OF EDWARD C. MEAD, ESQ. 

IF the lover of the antique, who delights in old 
moss-covered buildings, whose every plank, 
shingle, and nail tells the tale of a past cen- 
tury, when building was done under such difficul- 
ties by the early settlers, then the Broad Oak 
house, when first entered in 1861 by its present 
proprietor, would have rejoiced the heart, and 
called forth from a poetic nature a pathetic ode. 
When or by whom the first little one-storied house, 
having but two rooms, was built is beyond the 
knowledge of any one now living. A few feet 
from its front door stood a giant oak, from which 
it takes its name ; it measures twenty feet in cir- 
cumference at its base, and spreads a shade over 
the yard of more than eighty feet in diameter each 
way ; it stretches its giant arms over the little 
dwelling as if in protection of its peaceful occu- 
pants, and has sheltered 'neath its dense foliage 
many generations. This monarch of the forest 
has been known to the community for its con- 
spicuous size and beauty since the recollection of 
the oldest inhabitant, who speak of it as being 
nearly as large a tree in their youth as now. The 
indications of its extreme age are now manifest, 
and this patriarch of the original forest is gradually 

255 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

failing in strength, as shown by its decaying limbs 
and withering leaves ; yet it still forms in its grace- 
ful old age a particular and striking object, as 
being one of the few familiar landmarks of this 
historic region. Three more oaks, nearly as large, 
also stand in rear of the house, one of which was 
struck by lightning in 1888, and immediately died. 
Stepping into the house, the first object to strike 
the visitor's notice is its rough floor of wide plank, 
without tongue or groove, and nailed with large 
wrought nails from a common forge ; its shingles 
were moss-covered, and put on with similar nails, 
though smaller ; its chimney was half stone and 
half brick, the latter being much larger in size 
than the present kind. Its huge framing timbers 
measured twelve by fourteen inches for the sills, 
and four by eight for the sleepers and joists, all 
being hewed by hand, and as sound as when put 
in. The cellar and foundation walls were of stone, 
fourteen inches thick, and cemented with mud 
mortar. The one largest room was sixteen feet 
square, while the little garret rooms were mere 
cubby-holes, in which one could scarcely stand 
erect. Such was the first house at Broad Oak. 
About 1840 an addition was made by a two-story 
room joined to this old part, and in 1874 the old 
part was raised another story to correspond with it, 
placing all under one roof, as is shown in the en- 
graving. There are other evidences which tend to 
establish the very early settlement of Broad Oak. 
Immediately in front of the house (as was the 

superstitious custom in those days) was the re- 

256 



I 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

mains of an old graveyard, but without any head- 
stones. A few feet from the front door also 
showed the site of a well, but tradition says that 
its waters were so bitter of mineral that it was 
filled up, under the belief of being a judgment for 
having been placed so near the graveyard. Since 
then, however, another well has been opened in 
rear of the house, and its waters also partake of a 
strong mineral character, but which have proved 
to be an excellent tonic. But the strongest proof 
in evidence of its being settled early in the eigh- 
teenth century is that of a Colonial penny which 
was ploughed up near the dwelling in 1863. This 
penny has on one side a shield surmounted by a 
crown, upon which are quartered the arms of Eng- 
land, Ireland, Scotland, and Virginia, the whole en- 
circled with the word " Virginia, 1 773 ;" on the 
reverse side was a head with the words " Georgius 
III. Rex." This proves the origin of the term 
" Old Dominion," Virginia being thus acknowl- 
edged a part of England in gratitude for her loy- 
alty. There have also been found upon the place 
many perfect Indian arrow-heads, which have been 
placed in the Smithsonian Institution at Washing- 
ton. These evidently show that this once formed 
the camping-ground of the Indians or marked the 
site of a battle. 

The land upon which Broad Oak is situated 
was formerly owned by the Rev. John Rogers, 
of Keswick, and was afterwards hallowed by the 
presence of the Rev. Dr. Alfred Holliday, who 
resided here for many years as pastor of the South 
17 257 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Plains Presbyterian Church, which is in full view. 
After the death of Mr. Rogers the place passed 
into the hands of his son, John A. Rogers, who, 
in 1858, sold it to Charles E. Taylor, of Peters- 
burg, Virginia. This gentleman lived but a short 
while, dying early in 1 86 1 . During the few years 
of his occupancy he made many improvements 
and added much to the beauty and fertility of the 
place. After his death it was again sold, and on 
the 4th of October, 1861, its present owner, while 
standing under the noble oak at its doorstep, made 
the highest bid, which placed the property in his 
hands. 

There are few places along the South-West 
Mountains having a more beautiful landscape 
spread before its door, from which can be seen 
the entire range of undulating hills rising in ma- 
jestic height, with their highest peaks and knobs, 
like giant citadels, guarding the quiet valley below. 
On the extreme left stands lofty Monticello, with 
Carter's Mountain towering above it, and the eye 
then sweeps the range to Peter's Mountain on the 
extreme right, which marks the highest elevation, 
while immediately in front sits the little station of 
Keswick, where the trains of the Chesapeake and 
Ohio Railroad pass in view daily, while dotting 
the foot-hills are seen many of the homesteads 
here described. The present owner has endeav- 
ored to beautify and adorn the surroundings of 
this old home so favored by nature; its sloping 
lawn is filled with stately fruit-trees and shrubbery, 

which glory in radiant colors during the opening 

258 



f 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

spring, while its grand old oaks surrounding the 
mansion make it most conspicuous from a distance. 
Thus Broad Oak has always been famous for its 
fruits and flowers, which have afforded pleasure and 
delight to the many who have honored it with a 
visit. To the young it has often been a scene of 
gayety, its halls resounding with music and the 
joyful voices of happy hearts, while to the aged 
the view of " the everlasting hills" and the peaceful 
calm have been ever a refreshing feast. 

It may be pardoned the writer if he speaks of 
his own family in connection with Broad Oak ; at 
least, he is not ashamed of his ancestry, and can 
boast of a lineage which may bear the scrutiny of 
the most exacting " Son of the Revolution," The 
Mead or Meade family is one of the most wide- 
spread and ancient ot any in the country, members 
of it being found in nearly every State of the 
Union. The English Meades were of the nobility, 
the family in this country springing from Dr. Rich- 
ard Mead, who was born at Stepney, England, 
1673. He became very distinguished in his pro- 
fession, and was vice-president of the Royal So- 
ciety, censor of the College of Physicians, and 
physician to George II. He interested himself 
much in the introduction of inoculation for the 
small-pox, and assisted in the preliminary experi- 
ments made upon criminals. He wrote many 
valuable treatises, among which were " A Mechan- 
ical Account of Poisons," " Discourse concerning 
Pestilential Contagion," " De Imperiis Solis ac 
Lunse, in Corpora humana et Morbis inde ori- 

259 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

undis," " De Morbis Biblicis," and " Monita Med- 
ica." For his valuable services to science he was 
knighted in 1 722. He died in 1754. The Mead(e) 
family came to this country shortly after the 
" Mayflower," and first settled at Horseneck (now 
Greenwich), Connecticut. From this first family 
of the name located in this country descended 
General John Mead of the Revolution, who served 
under Washington, and was distinguished through- 
out the war for bravery. He died in 1 797, his will 
being witnessed by a Zachariah Mead, one of the 
family, on the 24th of March of that year. The 
English way of spelling the name was with a final 
" ^," but this was dropped by General Mead for 
some reason, though retained by the family in 
other States. Bishop Meade, of Virginia, who 
averred that the two families were of the same 
stock, gives his great-grandfather as of Irish de- 
scent, who emigrated to this country, married a 
Quakeress in Flushing, New York, and settled in 
Suffolk, Virginia. This may have been some time 
after the landing of the first Meads in Connecticut, 
but doubtless were of the same English origin. 
The coat of arms of the English Meades, as taken 
from the Heralds' College, England, are thus de- 
scribed : " Sa. cher. erbet s Pel. Vul," with the 
motto " Semper Paratus," the translation of which 
is, " Sable Field-chevron," represented as two raft- 
ers of a house joined together ; the chevron is 
gold color, but powdered black ; three pelicans 
wounding themselves, according to the old tradi- 
tion that the pelican picked its own breast to 

260 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

nourish its young. The symbol of the pelican is 
Generation, Preservation, Education, and Good 
Example. The motto signifies " Always Ready," 
which has been strikingly exemplified by many of 
the family. It is singular to remark that though 
originally of the Roman Church on one side, in- 
termixed with the Quaker and Unitarian faith on 
the other, yet with scarcely an exception the family 
have strictly adhered to the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in America, many of whom have become 
prominent, especially those of the Virginia branch, 
represented by Bishop Meade, his sons and grand- 
sons, while the descendants of the Connecticut 
Meads were represented in the Virginia Diocese 
quite early in the person of Rev. Zachariah Mead, 
and now by his grandson. Rev. George Otis Mead, 
of Casanova, Fauquier County, Virginia. On his 
maternal side, Mr. E. C. Mead is great-grandson of 
General William Hull of the Revolutionary war 
and that of 1812 ; a biography of his military and 
civil life was written by his grandson, the late Dr. 
James Freeman Clarke, of Boston, Massachusetts. 
Mr. Edward C. Mead married, November 21, 
1861, Emily Augusta Burgoyne, eldest daughter 
of H. A. Burgoyne, Esq., formerly of New York, 
and now of Maryland. He was son of the late 
William Burgoyne, who lived for many years at 
Charleston, South Carolina, after which he moved 
to New York City, there amassing a large fortune 
by investments in city real estate during its rapid 
expansion. Mrs. Mead is also closely connected 
with the Mosers of Philadelphia represented by the 

261 



HISTORIC HOMES 

late Dr. Philip Moser ; also with the Haights, Law- 
rences, and Rosseters, of New York, and through 
the latter family reaching back to Benjamin Frank- 
lin. Her grandmother, Mrs. Edward J. Rosseter, 
while living in Bridgeport, Connecticut, about 
1830, had a slave of the Franklin family as a ser- 
vant in her household. The children of Mr. and 
Mrs. E. C. Mead are : 

1. Henry Burgoyne Mead, now of Chicago, Illinois. 

2. William Zachariah Mead, of Richmond, Virginia ; mar- 

ried, June 24, 1889, Myra Fisk Hilton, of Chicago, 
Illinois. Their children are : Bertha Blanchard and 
Emily Burgoyne. 

3. Frances Meriwether Mead ; married, September 3, 1896, 

Francis R. Hewitt, of North Carolina. 

4. Edward Augustus Mead; died June ii, 1874. 

5. Rev. George Otis Mead; married, November 24, 1897, 

Lilian Minty, of Chicago, Illinois. She died Septem- 
ber 22, 1898, leaving one son, Lynne Burgoyne. 

6. Mary Rossiter Mead. 

7. Annie Louisa Mead. 

8. Ernest Campbell Mead. 



262 



KESWICK STATION 

CHESAPEAKE AND OHIO RAILROAD 



M' 



ORE particular mention should be made of 
this the central point of the South- West 
Mountain region, historic as being as far 
east as Sheridan reached in his memorable raid 
into Albemarle in 1865, leaving the place in ashes, 
being one of the last sad scenes of the closing war. 
In 1849, when the Virginia Central Railroad 
reached this point in its stretch for the Ohio River, 
it was undecided whether to have the " depot," as 
the stations were then called, here, at Edgehill, or at 
Shadwell, the birthplace of Jefferson. Colonel T. 
J. Randolph was solicitous to have it at his farm, 
Edgehill, but the majority of the farmers along its 
line prevailed in having two established, — one at the 
Keswick farm, where it intersects the county road, 
the other at Shadwell Mills, upon the river. For a 
long time the " Keswick Depot" was but a small 
affair, being scarcely more than a " turnout" or 
switch station, having one or two small buildings. 
Shadwell was then the great emporium for this 
section, being quite a town ; but the failure to 
rebuild its large carding-factory caused its rapid 
decline, and in recent years it has ceased to be 
even a " depot," which has been removed to Edge- 
hill, the spot at first contemplated by " Colonel 

263 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

JefF" Randolph, but which still retains the name of 
Shadwell, in honor of Jefferson's birthplace. After 
the decline of "Shadwell Depot," Keswick arose in 
magnitude and importance. At an early date, even 
before the advent of the railroad, there was near 
the place a grist- and saw-mill, and not far off the 
Presbyterian South Plains Church, and it soon 
began to assume the proportions of a village ; but 
the capture of the place by Sheridan, and burning 
of the mill, depot building, and warehouse, com- 
pletely wiped out the little place for a time. 
Among the incidents of this exciting event was 
one which proved the faithfulness of the old negro 
miller. 

The mill was in charge of one of the slaves of 
the Rogers farm, who held the keys with domineer- 
ing sway over its management, and it is said even 
his old mistress would have to beg for meal. 
When he heard that the "Yankees" were coming, 
he hid the keys and also several bags of meal. 
When the troops demanded entrance, " Old Ned" 
positively refused, whereupon he was threatened 
with violence, but intimidation had no effect, and 
with folded arms he watched the destruction of 
his favorite mill. After the departure of the 
troops he carried to his old mistress the few bags 
of meal, saying, " Dey didn't git de las' grinding, 
nohow." 

In recent years Keswick has risen to a place of 
some importance. It now contains a large brick 
depot and reception-room, three stores, with sev- 
eral shops, drug-store, express, mail, and telegraph 

264 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

station, and telephone connection with Charlottes- 
ville and other points. Several handsome resi- 
dences are also scattered around its suburbs, form- 
ing quite a picturesque and busy place. 

It is here that the railroad makes a sudden bend 
from the east. Sweeping through the lower wood- 
lands, it aims straight for the mountains, a mile 
distant, and as the train emerges from the forest 
the full view of Keswick, with the South-West 
range, breaks upon the delighted vision of the 
traveller. 

Colonel H. W. Fuller, general passenger agent 
of the road, has been quite partial to Keswick 
and this beautiful section of his road, placing here 
all the modern improvements of a first-class sta- 
tion for the benefit of the neighborhood. During 
the summer months Keswick becomes the daily 
rendezvous for the many visitors who seek this 
healthy region, making it one of excitement and 
bustle as each train unloads its quota of happy 
young people ; here the beau monde of the heated 
cities seeks to expand its lungs and stretch its limbs 
over the rugged mountain slopes ; here the gayeties 
of fashionable resorts are to be met with in a mod- 
ified form, the many homesteads along the hills 
resounding with music and the dance ; here, too, 
the more exciting music of the hounds is fre- 
quently heard along the mountain-sides, urging 
the young Nimrod to the chase ; and more re- 
cently a handsome club hall has here been erected, 
where the ambitious tyro of the stage can strut 

its boards in mimic play, or amateurs can warble 

265 



HISTORIC HOMES 

sweet notes upon the moonlit air in melodious 
concert. Such are a few of the attractions of 
which Keswick Station is the centre, and for which 
it has already attained a great celebrity, such as 
will increase each year as it becomes more widely 
known. 

Mr. P. B. Hancock, its present very able and 
efficient agent, has retained his position since 1874, 
winning the confidence and esteem of his superior 
officers and of the travelling public, who will here 
be cordially met by him and directed to the many 
points of interest along these beautiful mountains. 



266 



EVERETTSVILLE 

NOW LA FOURCHE, THE HOME OF THE 
BOWCOCKS. 

WE cannot pass this once noted place with- 
out a hasty glance, as it forms one of the 
truly historic landmarks along the South- 
West Mountains. 

The place derives its name from the elder Dr. 
Charles Everett, of Belmont, upon whose lands it 
was situated. It is located in the fork of the county 
road from Charlottesville, one branch of which 
turns to the south, leading to Richmond by the 
old " Three Notch" road, one of the first to be 
opened by the early settlers ; the other branch turns 
to the north-east, leading to Gordonsville and 
Washington. On both of these roads the travel 
was very great before the age of steam. All the 
products of this region passed over them, as well 
as the large passenger travel by stages. It was 
early in the present century quite an important 
place, having a tavern, store, shops, and stables for 
the exchange of stage horses. Here was also the 
post-ofRce for this region, and was the precinct for 
elections, when the honest mode of voting viva 
voce prevailed ; this, too, was the rendezvous for the 
sturdy farmers on muster days, when the youthful 

patriots would be enthused with military ambition. 

267 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

Here, too, would be the stopping-place for those 
old-time shows on wheels, which would pitch their 
tents, to the delight of black and white, for a large 
circuit. 

The old tavern, which was standing even to 
i860 in quite good preservation, had sheltered 
many of the most noted men of the past, some of 
whom were distinguished foreigners on their way 
to visit Monticello, which is here in full view. It 
is said that at this point General Lafayette met the 
cavalcade sent from Charlottesville to receive him 
when last on his visit to this country, and when 
he alighted and beheld Monticello in the distance 
he took off his hat in salutation of its distinguished 
occupant, who was there waiting to receive him 
with open arms. 

This, too, was the spot where, in 1 863, " Stone- 
wall" Jackson with his army corps rested in the 
grove of woods which surrounds Everettsville while 
on his forced march from the Valley of Virginia to 
the defence of Richmond ; here, underneath these 
shady oaks, the great chieftain laid with his weary 
men, while the original old " Stonewall" band filled 
the woods with the stirring strains of " Dixie." 

Everettsville continued to be the central point 
of attraction up to the year 1 849, when the estab- 
hshment of Keswick Station took its glory away, 
and the good old stage days ceased. 

In i860 Everettsville was purchased by Dr. 
Charles S. Bowcock, son of the late Colonel J. J. 
Bowcock, who for many years was presiding jus- 
tice for the county of Albemarle. Dr. Bowcock 

268 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

married the same year he bought the place Miss 
Margaret Branch, daughter of William Mosely 
Branch, of Goochland County, Virginia. The 
family of Bowcock is quite an ancient one. It 
was originally spelled Beaucoke, a man of this name 
having come from Scotland to America during the 
last century, his sons settling in different parts of 
the country, but soon the name changed to Bow- 
cock. The joke goes between the Hon. Thos. S. 
Bocock and Colonel J. J. Bowcock, who were 
cousins, that Thomas often laughed at the colonel 
saying that he had put that " w" in his name because 
he was such a Whig, and the colonel retorted by 
saying that Thomas was such a Democrat that he 
had dropped out the " w" entirely. 

Dr. Bowcock died in 1895, after serving the 
community for more than thirty years as its phy- 
sician. 

The children of Dr. and Mrs. Bowcock are : 

1. William Branch Bowcock ; died in 1884 just after hav- 

ing graduated in medicine. 

2. Robert Lee Bowcock ; married, in 1 889, Virginia Sands, 

daughter of Alexander H. Sands, a prominent lawyer 
of Richmond, Virginia. Dr. R. Lee Bowcock is now 
a practising physician of Anniston, Alabama. 

3. Mary Stewart Bowcock; married, in 1891, Conway 

Robinson Sands, Commonwealth's attorney in Rich- 
mond, Virginia. 

4. Charles S. Bowcock ; married Miss Anna Gaines Early 

in 1897. 

Soon after taking possession of Everettsville, Dr. 
Bowcock entirely remodelled the old tavern and re- 

269 



HISTORIC HOMES 

moved all the surrounding buildings. The man- 
sion now presents quite a tasty and commodious 
country-seat, surrounded by a grove of stately trees 
and ornamental plants, which is in marked contrast 
to the old tavern, with its tap-room, wash-room, and 
small bedrooms, of the stage-coach era. 



I 



270 



i 



GLENMORE 

THE HOME OF THE MAGRUDERS 

GLENMORE presents the appearance of 
one of those old English manors during 
the early years of the present century. 
It sits upon a high ridge of hills, flanked on each 
side by tangled glens of original growth, hence 
its name. From its lofty windows, which peer 
above the tree-tops, can be viewed Monticello and 
the full range of the mountains, not far distant, 
while to the south-west stretch the fertile plains of 
the Rivanna River, which courses along the greater 
portion of the farm. While the mansion has a 
baronial, antique aspect, with its lofty pillars, long 
double porticos, and tall windows, from floor to 
ceiling, it is evidently of a more advanced order 
of architecture, and does not come under the 
Colonial type. The first house to be built stands 
in its rear. The exact date of its construction is 
not known, but supposed to be about 1800. 

The first to live at Glenmore was Thomas Mann 
Randolph, Jr., the son of Thomas Mann Randolph, 
of Edgehill, whose second wife, Gabriella Harvie, 
of Belmont, must have inherited this portion of 
old Harvie 's estate, upon which her son resided 
for a time. He was succeeded in the ownership 

by a Watkins. After this it was rented to the 

271 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

father of the late Dr. Howard, of Buckey eland, 
Virginia, 

The house tract was one moiety of the Watkins 
estate, which was bought by the late Colonel B. 
H. Magruder to be added to his wife's portion, 
which comprised nine hundred and sixty acres of 
the Minor tract, by original grant from King 
George in 1732, and came into the Minor family, 
through Martin Dawson, in 1800. 

Colonel B. H. Magruder was born in 1812, the 
son of Rev. J. B. Magruder, an eminent preacher 
in the Methodist Church, who owned many thou- 
sand acres of land, stretching from Boyd Tavern, 
south-east, for a good distance along the Rivanna 
River, which embraced some of its richest bottom- 
lands. Boyd was his son-in-law, and got the 
tavern, which has always retained his name. He 
first opened the tavern and a store there, which 
after his death were continued by his widow, and 
have since passed into several hands. 

Colonel Magruder came into possession of his 
father's large estate and settled at Glenmore about 
1 832. Colonel Benjamin H. Magruder was among 
the first law graduates of the University of Virginia. 
He was an officer in the Virginia State Militia 
force, but was too old to enter the last war. He 
took a prominent stand at the bar quite early, and, 
entering politics, was sent to the Virginia Legis- 
lature in 1850, where he continued to represent 
his county each session until 1870. As a speaker 
he stood foremost among his political contem- 
poraries, and by his eloquence and deep interest in 

272 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

his county's welfare became very popular and won 
the high esteem and confidence of his countrymen. 
As a man of deep learning, a sound thinker, and a 
great lover of the poetical and beautiful in litera- 
ture, none who enjoyed his society could fail to be 
impressed. 

Colonel Magruder married first a Miss Minor, 
by whom were six children : 

1. John Bankhead Magruder, M.A. of the University of 

Virginia; was colonel of the Fifty-Seventh Virginia 
Infantry, Armistead's Brigade, C. S, A. He fell upon 
the bloody field of Gettysburg, inside of the enemy's 
works, during the fearful charge of Pickett's divi- 
sion, which was enfiladed by a heavy fire of grape- 
shot. 

2. Henry M. Magruder ; graduated in law at the Univer- 

sity of Virginia ; held an appointment under the 
United States government at Blacksburg College, 
Virginia, and also several county offices ; died in 
1885. 

3. Horatio E. Magruder, a most successful farmer ; resides 

on the homestead at Glenmore ; married Mrs. Julia 
Wallace, nee Chewning, of Milton, Albemarle County, 
Virginia. 

4. Julia ; married Mr. Tyler, of Caroline County, Virginia, 

member of the Legislature of Virginia. 

5. Evelyn ; married Mr. De Jarnette, of Spottsylvania 

County, Virginia, a member of the Virginia Legis- 
lature. 

6. Sally ; married Colonel Stewart, of Portsmouth, Vir- 

ginia, a prominent lawyer. 

Colonel Magruder married second Miss Eveline 
Nonis, sister of the late Dr. Norris, of Charlottes- 
ville, Virginia, by whom were four children : 
18 273 



HISTORIC HOMES OF THE 

1. Dr. Edward May Magruder, a prominent physician, of 

Charlottesville, Virginia; married Miss Mary Cole 
Gregory, of King William County, Virginia, De- 
cember 1 6, 1896. 

2. Opie E. Magruder, civil engineer, of Winston, North 

Carolina. 

3. George Mason Magruder, surgeon in the United States 

Marine Hospital service, Galveston, Texas ; married, 
January 6, 1896, Miss Isadora Carvallo Causton, of 
Washington, D.C. 

4. Edgar W. Magruder, professor of chemistry in Johns 

Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. 

The Glenmore mansion has always been most 
attractive, not only to the eminent and gifted in 
public positions but to the young people, whom 
the colonel was particularly fond of having around 
him. At these gay assemblages he would always 
attract their young minds by his own love of 
poetry and literature, and by his wonderful con- 
versational powers would charm them with his 
beautiful imagery and thought, until their ambition 
would be fired with zealous emulation, which many 
who have since attained distinction owe to his 
kind and solicitous influence. 

With Glenmore, the home of patriotism, learn- 
ing, and culture, which sits near to Monticello, 
from where we started on the tour of the South- 
West Mountain homes, we close the series, having 
made the circuit of the range to the north-east and 
back. 

It is most fitting here to end them for this, the 

east, side of the mountains. Jeflferson, the father 

of Democracy, starting the country on its suc- 

274 



SOUTH-WEST MOUNTAINS 

cessfiil career, which was not broken until 1861, 
and Magruder, who stood in the legislative halls 
during that terrible strife, saw the end of his 
once proud State as it fell by overwhelming num- 
bers of a sectional party ; but, like Marmion of 
old, he rallied his State to industrial efforts of 
recuperation, and lived to see her once more upon 
a career of prosperity. 



THE END 



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